First Cobalt unveils ambitious expansion plans to create battery metals industrial park in northeastern Ontario
For Trent Mell, it makes little sense to mine the metals needed to power the coming electrical vehicle (EV) revolution here, ship it overseas to Asia refiners to make into battery-grade material, and then send it back to North America to use in car production.
If the president-CEO of First Cobalt has his way, the Temiskaming district will be this continent’s centre of production to deliver many of those key ingredients, shorten the logistics journey, and help create a secure home-grown supply chain for EV makers for the first time ever.
The Toronto-based company has construction underway and equipment on order to refurbish the once-shuttered Yukon refinery, located five kilometres outside the town of Cobalt, to begin producing cobalt sulfate for the EV industry by the end of next year.
But during a Nov. 8 webcast to investors, Mell and his team dropped the curtain on hugely ambitious expansion plans that they’ve been cooking up for several months, while simultaneously raising $45 million in financing this past summer to reactivate the refinery as a one-of-a-kind facility that will be unique to North America.