Electra Battery secures cobalt supply from ERG for Ontario refinery

Electra Battery Materials (NASDAQ: ELBM; TSXV: ELBM) has secured a long-term supply of cobalt for its refinery in Ontario, with the signing […]
View of the Metalkol cobalt and copper tailings reprocessing project. Credit: Eurasian Resources Group

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Electra Battery Materials (NASDAQ: ELBM; TSXV: ELBM) has secured a long-term supply of cobalt for its refinery in Ontario, with the signing of a binding agreement with Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), one of the world's leader producers of the metal.

Pursuant to the terms, ERG will deliver 3,000 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide annually to Electra's refinery in Temiskaming Shores for a period of three years, starting in 2026. The cobalt supply will come from ERG’s Metalkol operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the largest cobalt hydroxide facilities globally.

With this agreement, Electra says it has sufficient cobalt hydroxide feed material to meet all of the refinery’s annual capacity for up to 6,500 tonnes of cobalt per year. Once fully commissioned, the refinery, expected to be the first of its kind in North America, could produce sufficient cobalt for up to 1.5 million electric vehicles annually.

The objective of Electra's refinery project is to address the onshoring requirements of the electric vehicle battery supply chain. The DRC represents approximately 75% of global cobalt production, and 90% of this cobalt is destined for EV batteries. Most of this material is being refined in China, which controls roughly 80% of the cobalt chemicals market.

ERG’s cobalt has a low carbon footprint as it is produced from historic tailings and the electrical grid used across their facilities is primarily hydroelectric. Its cobalt hydroxide product is an intermediate product from mining operations and is the preferred feedstock for refining a battery-grade cobalt sulphate product.

Based in Luxembourg, ERG is a founding member of the Global Battery Alliance, and its Metalkol facility is assured under the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP), which was established to provide assurance to manufacturers that critical minerals were sourced from a responsible and ethical supply chain.

“Partnering with a recognized leader in sustainable mining practices is essential for Electra to produce secure, clean and ethically sourced battery materials,” said Electra’s CEO, Trent Mell, in a news release Tuesday.

Electra previously announced a five-year offtake agreement with LG Energy Solution for up to 80% of production, and demand for the remaining production far exceeds production capacity. Electra and ERG are exploring further collaboration to de-risk the construction of a second cobalt refinery in Bécancour, Que.

“Electra was one of the first companies to achieve localization of the upstream supply chain, supporting the industry’s move towards an entirely integrated battery supply model and putting battery metals at the core of industry's related efforts,” added Benedikt Sobotka, ERG’s CEO and co-chair of the Global Battery Alliance.

In October, ERG agreed to provide cobalt from Metalkol to EVelution Energy LLC, an Arizona-based battery materials processor backed by commodities trader Trafigura Group. Then in January, the group said it was in talks about building a cobalt sulphate refinery in Saudi Arabia.

Shares of Electra Battery Materials opened the market 3.3% higher at $0.65 apiece, within a 52-week range of $0.41-$3.47. Its market capitalization is estimated at $35.7 million.

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MINING.COM

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