First Cobalt expects to bring North America's only permitted cobalt processing plant into operation in 2020.
The Toronto junior miner, owners of the former Yukon refinery outside the Town of Cobalt, expects to wrap up two technical studies to put the moth-balled facility back into production.
The company is conducting studies on two possible startup scenarios: one for a 12-tonne-per-day (tpd) operation, the other at 55 tpd.
The report for a small-scale operation is at the prefeasibility study stage. The study on the larger production option is at the feasibility stage.
First Cobalt expects both studies to be done in the first quarter of 2020.
The company has extensive cobalt exploration properties nearby in northeastern Ontario but is positioning the refinery as a toll-milling facility, taking in unprocessed cobalt from mining companies around the world.
The finished cobalt sulphate product would be used in the electric vehicle battery industry.
Glencore was the first strategic partner to come to the plate with a US$5-million loan earmarked for a restart.
The facility has been on care and maintenance since 2015.
Staff from Ausenco Engineering Canada assessed the condition of the refinery's equipment and systems.