IPP&T Magazine Online

First Cobalt moves forward with refinery

June 2, 2020  

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First Cobalt Corp. announced a $2.1 million work program for its cobalt refinery in Ontario, intended to build upon the successful feasibility study completed on May 4.

“This work will enable us to meet our commitments to shareholders and stakeholders to move the project forward in 2020,” says Trent Mell, First Cobalt president and CEO. “According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, there are currently no plans to commission new cobalt refineries outside of China other than First Cobalt. China accounts for approximately 79 per cent of the world’s refined cobalt sulfate production and we are seeing that many automotive companies outside of China are interested in sourcing cobalt sulfate closer to their manufacturing facilities.”

  • Prepare and submit permit amendments to expand the refinery to its design rate of 25,000 tonnes per annum of cobalt sulfate
  • Assess alternative approaches to manage effluent sodium levels to lower capital and operating costs and further enhance project economics
  • Conduct additional metallurgical test work to increase cobalt recoveries
  • Extend project economics assessment from 11 years to 17 years to align with the phase 1 dry stack tailings design storage capacity
  • Scoping studies in progress to assess three early commissioning strategies to operate as a demonstration plant and produce sample product for EV manufacturers
  • Target substantial completion for most of the work program within 90 days

The First Cobalt Refinery is a hydrometallurgical cobalt refinery located north of Toronto, Canada. The facility was permitted in 1996 with a nominal throughput of 12 tonnes per day (tpd) and operated intermittently until 2015, producing a cobalt carbonate product along with nickel carbonate and silver precipitate.


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