The First Cobalt Refinery is on track to becoming North America’s only primary producer of refined cobalt.
The refinery, which brought in Glencore AG as a partner recently, has undertaken a feasibility study—on schedule for Q1-2020 completion—to increase production from 12 tons per day (tpd) (10.8mt tpd) to 55t tpd by the second half of 2021. Another study conducted earlier this year determined that the refinery could produce over 25,000t a year of battery-grade cobalt sulphate that will be used in the electric vehicle industry.
Testing equipment and systems already installed at the refinery concluded two weeks ahead of schedule with everything said to be in good working order. Trent Mell, First Cobalt’s president and chief executive officer, said the two feasibility studies should be completed on time and below budget.
The First Cobalt Refinery is located north of Toronto and, with no other cobalt sulphate production on the continent, it could become the first such producer in the battery market.