By Bowdeya Tweh
First Cobalt Corp. is interested in restarting operations an Ontario refinery after signing a memorandum of understanding with Glencore AG to provide cobalt and financing to recommission the facility.
Toronto-based First Cobalt said once a definitive agreement is executed, the companies will work to restart the continent's only primary cobalt refinery.
The companies are envisioning the plant producing about 2,000 metric tons to 2,500 metric tons of cobalt sulfate annually.
Mining giant Glencore will evaluate making a loan to help recommission the refinery and enter into a tolling agreement, First Cobalt said. The refinery could be operational in 18 to 24 months, and First Cobalt said that discussions are under way with provincial government officials to accelerate the permit amendment process.
First Cobalt has said it aims to be the first producer of cobalt sulfate for the American electric-vehicle market as most of the refined cobalt for the electric vehicle market is produced in Asia.
A final decision regarding returning the facility to production has yet to be made, the company said, and it has also yet to determine the economic viability of such a move.
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