The U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute is giving Toronto-based junior First Cobalt (TSXV: FCC; US-OTC: FTSSF) US$600,000 over two years for research on mineral processing techniques for the company’s Iron Creek copper-cobalt project in Idaho.
The funding, matched by the company, will be spent on “identifying more efficient and environmentally friendly methods to process cobalt ore from pyrite material,” First Cobalt announced in a press release, and will be part of a “collaborative research effort” with the Colorado School of Mines’ Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy (KIEM).
Trent Mell, First Cobalt’s president and CEO, said the company plans to build an underground mine and processing facility at Iron Creek and “can take advantage of new and emerging technologies that reduce waste material coming out of the mine and reduce the amount of energy required to process the ore.”
Cobalt is on the U.S. government’s list of 35 critical elements that are essential to the country’s economy and national security. According to First Cobalt, all of the cobalt used in the U.S. to make batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) is imported.
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