Canadian Mining Journal

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COBALT: Glencore provides $5M loan for First Cobalt refinery study



Commissioned in 1996, the First Cobalt refinery has been on care and maintenance since 2015. (Image: First Cobalt Corp.)

ONTARIO – Swiss integrated miner Glencore AG has agreed to loan US$5 million to Toronto-based First Cobalt. The funds will be used for advanced engineering, metallurgical testing, field work and permitting to complete a feasibility study of First Cobalt’s refinery in the town of Cobalt.

Following a positive feasibility study, Glencore has also agreed to lend a further $40 million to recommission and enlarge the refinery. A recommissioned refinery would turn feed supplied by Glencore into cobalt sulphate for the North American electric vehicle industry.

The plan is to recommission the refinery at its current capacity of 12 t/d in late 2020. The following year, the plant will be expanded to 55 t/d. A scoping study previously done by Ausenco suggests an expanded refinery could produce 5,000 tonnes of cobalt sulphate annually from cobalt hydroxide feedstock grading 30% cobalt.

First Cobalt is seeking a consultant to complete the feasibility study with field work to begin next month.

More information about recommissioning the refinery is available at www.FirstCobalt.com.