Cobalt refinery operators have ambitious plans for ‘Battery Park’ – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 14, 2021)

First Cobalt seeks to bring manufacturing partner to northeastern Ontario for value-added processing

The company refurbishing a mothballed metals refinery near the town of Cobalt are discussing the idea of creating a Battery Park, catering to the supply chain needs of the North American electric vehicle industry.

Toronto’s First Cobalt wants to produce refined cobalt at the facility, along with a used battery recycling plant, but they’re also strategizing to produce nickel sulfate on the same site, five kilometres outside of town, within the next few years. Both nickel and cobalt are used in electric vehicle battery production.

For First Cobalt, this is a US$60-million expenditure to bring the former Yukon refinery back to life. The facility ran for about a decade – producing cobalt, nickel, copper, silver and other products – before being shuttered in 2015. First Cobalt acquired the shuttered building in 2017.

In a July 13 news release, the company said it’s in early discussions with undisclosed government officials about creating a Battery Park on the property, something similar to the Harjavalta Industrial Park in Finland.

First Cobalt wants to attract a manufacturing partner to northeastern Ontario to deliver the final, value-added, chemical processing step prior to a battery being mechanically fitted within a cathode and anode casing for electric vehicles.

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