First Cobalt decides to go big on refinery restart – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 23, 2020)

Toll processing facility would be first of its kind in North America

A major expansion is definitely in the cards to restart a mothballed refinery in northeastern Ontario that’s gearing up to serve the electric vehicle market.

Toronto’s First Cobalt is skipping a staged approach to reopening the plant, situated outside the town of Cobalt, and is opting instead on focusing their construction efforts on quadrupling production capacity.

The plant is currently configured to process 12 tonnes of cobalt sulphate a day. Expansion would boost that to 55 tonnes and would represent five per cent of the world’s cobalt refining capacity.

Through a restart study, the company has been finetuning its processing plans and is looking to ways to shave costs off the US$56 million needed to bring the former Yukon Refinery back into operation as a toll processing facility. It would handle cobalt feed from mines around the world.

The plant would convert cobalt hydroxide into a highly pure, battery-grade cobalt sulfate material which is used in the manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles, as well as other electrified consumer and industrial applications.

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