First Cobalt (TSXV: FCC; US-OTC: FTSSF) has taken a major step toward becoming the only producer of refined cobalt in North America.
The company, which plans to restart its hydrometallurgical cobalt refinery near Cobalt, Ont., has signed an agreement with Glencore (LON: GLEN) that will see the metals giant supply the junior’s refinery with cobalt feedstock.
Under a memorandum of understanding, Glencore will also provide a loan to cover the estimated cost of re-commissioning the refinery, and collaborate on its final flow-sheet design.
“There are so few refinery options outside of China that all roads pretty much lead there, so it puts us in a unique situation, where it allows us to provide cobalt to North America, where we don’t have any,” says Trent Mell, First Cobalt’s president and CEO.
The arrangement appeals to Glencore because it sells its cobalt hydroxide material to China and doesn’t get the final product back, Mell explains, adding that the two companies are also working on the terms of an offtake agreement.
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