SMM5, June 6: Canadian cobalt producer First Cobalt said Monday it expects to start producing cobalt sulfate by the end of 2020 or early 2021, making it the only primary cobalt refining supplier in North America.
Glencore injected $5 million into First Cobalt's project last year and said it would invest another $40 million in re-commissioning and expanding the refinery.
According to the feasibility study of Ausenco Engineering of Canada, if the refinery were operating at a rate of 55 tons per day, it could produce 5000 tons of cobalt sulfate per year, equivalent to 1000 tons of cobalt.
By the fourth quarter of 2021, the cumulative production of refineries may reach 5000 tons of cobalt or 25000 tons of cobalt sulfate.
The Toronto-based company said it was working with Glencore on an expansion of a cobalt refinery in Ontario, Canada, which would help the North American market reduce its dependence on China.
China dominates the supply chain of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and has the world's largest lithium producers, Tianqi Lithium and Ganfeng Lithium.
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