North America's only battery-grade cobalt refinery on track for launch next year
(Kitco News) - First Cobalt (TSX-V: FCC; OTCQX: FTSSF) announced Monday that the company remains on schedule to recommission its cobalt hydrometallurgical refinery, located north of Toronto, in the fourth quarter of 2022, at which time it will become the only refiner of battery-grade cobalt sulfate in North America and the second largest outside of China.
The company said that a contract to construct the cobalt sulfate crystallizer has been awarded and will be built in the United States and shipped to the site in less than 44 weeks. This equipment is the last step in First Cobalt’s hydrometallurgical refining process and takes cobalt concentrated in an aqueous solution into a powder called cobalt sulfate.
First Cobalt pointed out that in addition, a New Permit to Take Water has been issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, allowing the project team to mobilize to site to restore power to the refinery complex and prepare for upcoming construction activities.
The company noted that lender discussions for a US$45 million debt facility are advancing, supplemented by C$18 million in current working capital plus an additional C$10 million investment by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario towards the refinery capital cost.
The First Cobalt refinery is a hydrometallurgical refinery located north of Toronto, in the community of Temiskaming Shores. The facility operated from 1996 to 2015, producing cobalt, nickel, copper and silver products. The company is expanding the facility and modifying the flow sheet to refine third party cobalt hydroxide intermediate product into a high purity, battery grade cobalt sulfate suitable for the electric vehicle market.
First Cobalt also owns the Iron Creek cobalt-copper project in Idaho, USA, as well as several significant cobalt and silver properties in the Canadian Cobalt Camp.