Western Australia-based miner Ardea Resources is banking on a cobalt boom.
"We have one of the world's largest cobalt deposits sitting there in Western Australia, just outside of Kalgoorlie," Matt Painter, CEO of Ardea Resources, told CNBC's "The Rundown."
Cobalt is a key element in lithium battery production. Previously seen as a byproduct of nickel and copper mines, the resource is now used in phones, computers, electric and hybrid vehicles and solar power storage systems.
"The cobalt price is really booming and it's for very good reason. With Lithium-ion batteries, one of the main components is actually the cobalt, more-so than the lithium," he added.
"The revolution that is going on in the auto industry is absolutely incredible — we can see that we can feed into that."
Cobalt prices have more than doubled since the start of 2016, tied to the potential boom in electric vehicles and smartphones. On Wednesday, Cobalt on the London Metal Exchange was trading at about $56,000 per tonne — from less than $52,000 in early March.
The rapid price rise has prompted a slew of junior Australian mining companies like Ardea Resources to express an interest in previously uneconomic cobalt deposits.
The shifting supply and demand dynamics underpin the company's base case for attempting to commercialize the resource. It's banking on an anticipated increase in demand for cobalt, as electric vehicles become more commonplace in developed economies.