Cobalt processor pleased with material tests: First Cobalt confident' northeastern Ontario refinery can supply North American battery market.

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The company aiming to restore a northeastern Ontario cobalt refinery to commercial production is pleased with the results from its material testing.

First Cobalt provided preliminary results from a testing program of cobalt hydroxide material as potential feedstock for its refinery near the town of Cobalt.

Among the highlights, the company reported Jan. 30 was that testing successfully leached 98 per cent of cobalt from the cobalt hydroxide using solvent extraction processes.

The Toronto-based company has hired SGS Canada to assist them. The testing is being done at SGS's Lakefield, Ont. facility.

Back in November, they began testing cobalt hydroxide material to determine whether they could produce a finished cobalt sulphate product for the lithium-ion battery market or cobalt metal that can be used in the aerospace sector.

The company said at the time it was looking to source cobalt hydroxide from global producers to feed the refinery.

"Today's results give us further confidence that the First Cobalt Refinery flowsheet can produce cobalt to supply the North American market," said company president-CEO Trent Mell in a statement.

"Having achieved this milestone, we are driving ahead with the next phase of testing including the production of cobalt sulphate, which we expect to have completed before the end of the quarter.

"The lower price of cobalt...

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