Canadian critical minerals company gunning for some of China’s action considers selling assets as costs surge by 85% – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – May 17, 2023)

Stock plunges for start-up seen as potential counterweight to China’s dominance of materials crucial to energy transition

A Canadian upstart that positioned itself as a counterweight to China’s dominance of critical minerals is considering selling assets after the cost of the refinery it is building north of Toronto surged by at least 85 per cent.

Electra Battery Materials Corp., which counts commodities giant Glencore PLC among its clients and has received funding from Ottawa and the Ontario government, said it faces a budget shortfall of about $50 million for one of its crucial projects.

The company said in its latest budget on May 11 that the amount of money it needed to complete construction of its Temiskaming Shores, Ont.-based refinery surged to $155 million to $167 million, from a 2021 estimate of $84 million to $85 million.

Shares plunge

Electra Battery said supply chain issues and higher freight and labour costs were some of the reasons behind the cost increase. It said it was taking an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to look for new sources of funding.

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