CALGARY, Alberta, Sept 9 (Reuters) – First Cobalt Corp favors a fast restart of its idled cobalt refinery in Canada and can start assessing the plant’s situation subsequent week, Chief Government Trent Mell stated on Monday.
The Toronto-based firm has secured agreements beneath which commodity dealer Glencore Plc would provide cobalt feedstock to the plant, with preliminary manufacturing focused of about 2,000 to 2,500 tonnes per yr.
Glencore agreed final month to fund a feasibility examine to restart and doubtlessly increase the refinery, which has been shut since 2015.
“The entire level of that’s to get to this feasibility examine degree in order that we will make a go, no-go choice,” Mell stated on a name with analysts and buyers.
As soon as operational, the plant can be the only North American producer of refined cobalt for the electrical car market and reduce dependence of U.S. end-users on China, the place many of the world’s cobalt refining capability is situated.
“We’re fairly inspired. The working prices that we’re seeing there proper now would seem like aggressive with Chinese language refiners,” Mell stated, citing research commissioned by the corporate.
He stated the corporate subsequent week will start assessing the situation of the plant, in Cobalt, Ontario about 600 kilometers (370 miles) from the U.S. border.
The corporate will determine whether or not to restart the refinery within the first quarter subsequent yr, with preliminary throughput of 12 tonnes per day (tpd) focused for late 2020.
Throughput might develop to 55 tpd, yielding 5,000 tonnes of cobalt sulphate per yr, by 2021 pending additional examine and receipt of further permits, the corporate has stated. (Reporting by Jeff Lewis; Enhancing by Steve Orlofsky)