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First Cobalt changes name to Electra Battery Materials

DCN-JOC News Services
First Cobalt changes name to Electra Battery Materials

TORONTO—First Cobalt Corp. has announced a name change and updated its plans for development of its refinery in northern Ontario.

The name change, to Electra Battery Materials Corporation, was unveiled Nov. 8.

Electra’s new strategic plan includes producing battery-grade nickel and cobalt, recycled battery materials and precursor material out of a battery materials park in Temiskaming Shores, Ont., providing North American automakers with access to a domestic source of low-carbon raw materials.

A recent release announced plans for a 30 per cent increase in the design capacity of its cobalt refinery. Electra will invest in additional capacity for its crystallizer circuit, which will result in installed capacity of 6,500 tonnes of annual cobalt production. The new refinery will be operational in 2022.

Project control budget for the larger circuit is US$67 million, which can be funded from treasury, compared to a feasibility study estimate for a smaller plant of US$60 million.

Ground excavation has commenced for a new solvent extraction facility and contracts have been awarded for the foundations and building construction.

“The strength of the North American electric vehicle market year to date and the growth forecasts of automakers informed our decision to invest in additional capacity even before the initial capacity has been brought online. Likewise, our decision to pursue a more ambitious strategy of producing precursor material, nickel and cobalt, and to recycle batteries is motivated by insights shared by battery cell manufacturers and automotive companies,” said Electra president and CEO Trent Mell in a statement.

The company has signed contracts and purchase orders with commitments totalling US$22 million. Contracts have been awarded for the two most expensive components of the refinery – the cobalt crystallizer and the solvent extraction plant. A number of smaller contracts have also been awarded, including solvent extraction plant earthworks, foundations and exterior building construction.

The governments of Ontario and Canada have committed $10 million to the project.

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