Inflation doesn’t halt company’s hopes for its Temiskaming cobalt refinery – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 15, 2022)

Electra Battery Materials aims for spring 2023 plant startup

Inflation and supply chain issues are pumping up the price tag for Electra Battery Materials to bring a Temiskaming refinery back to life. It will delay the plant’s startup, originally scheduled for December, moving the commissioning to the spring of 2023.

Toronto-based Electra is feeling the domino effect of the industry-wide price and supply-chain pinch, especially coming out of Asia. The original capital budget of US$67 million to refurbish and expand the former Yukon refinery is now looking more in the range of US$76 million to US$80 million.

Electra acquired the mothballed refinery, situated north of the town of Cobalt, in 2017. The plant is being upgraded to become the first cobalt refinery in North America.

But company management isn’t sweating the situation given the rapid growth in the North American electric vehicle sector, their target market.

Come next year, Electra will be supplying 1,800 to 2,100 tonnes of battery-grade cobalt for car and battery manufacturers as part of its hugely ambitious four-year plan to create a battery metals industrial park in the Temiskaming region in partnership with other manufacturers.

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