Northeastern cobalt refiner brews up a promising batch.


A cobalt junior miner and processor, leaning toward restarting a northeastern Ontario refinery, received some good news.

Toronto's First Cobalt announced April 3 it has successfully produced a battery grade cobalt sulphate.

The company bought a mothballed refinery outside the town of Cobalt in 2017.

However, the testing was not done there, but at SGS Canada's labs in Lakefield, Ont. using the same process and the same equipment as at the refinery.

First Cobalt stated the high purity of their product meets the specifications of potential customers, and positions them to be the first North American producer of processed cobalt to supply battery plants in the U.S.

Restarting the mothballed refinery requires $30 million in startup money and an 18 to 24-month timeline.

With these results in hand, First Cobalt said discussions are underway with electric vehicle companies, global cobalt miners and, especially, financiers.

The company holds about 11,700 hectares of exploration property in the Cobalt. Ont. area, along with a cobalt project in Idaho, but wants to establish the refinery as a toll milling facility, capable of producing 2,000 tonnes of cobalt product annually.

Incoming raw cobalt material would come from international miners with offtake agreements struck with U.S. automotive battery manufacturers.

"Producing a battery grade cobalt sulphate is one of our most significant accomplishments as the. majority of refined cobalt for...

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