Electra presses ‘pause’ on Temiskaming refinery construction – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 21, 2023)


Processing company calls on government and industry to come to the table with funding

Electra Battery Materials will looking to its industry partners and government funders for help in finishing the construction of its Temiskaming cobalt refinery. Trent Mell, CEO of the fledgling Toronto mineral processing company said it’s going to “pause or slow down” the project until there’s a clearer “capital solution” in place to complete the project.

The cost to finish the cobalt sulfate refinery is $161 million. More than $81 million has been spent to date, as Electra posted in its second quarter results in a conference call late last week.

Electra’s plans are to build a battery metals park on the site of an existing refinery located between the Town of Cobalt and Temiskaming Shores. The company is refurbishing and expanding the facility. Its goal is to be a supplier of a wide spectrum of battery-grade materials to the North American auto industry.

2022 was a tough year for the company as inflation, supply chain issues and other difficulties delayed the completion of the cobalt refinery and elevated its price tag, prompting a project review. The company focus, the company said, has been on getting costs under control by reducing executive salaries and staff to 30 people, as well as curbing procurement spending.

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