First Cobalt eyes restart of Canadian refinery

PERTH ( – Dual-listed First Cobalt has undertaken three independent studies to assess restarting its refinery in Ontario, Canada.

The First Cobalt refinery was commissioned in 1996, and has a nominal throughput capacity of between 12 t/d and 24 t/d.

First Cobalt has weighed options to restart the facility at 12 t/d, using the existing single autoclave, at 24 t/d, using a second autoclave that was previously installed but never fully commissioned, and an expansion scenario of 50 t/d, which would represent a nearly complete replacement of all processing equipment within the footprint of the current building structure.

On the base-case scenario of restarting the refinery at a 24 t/d throughput, the independent studies estimated a total project cost of $25.7-million, compared with the $105.3-million that would be required for the expanded production case.

The capital cost estimates included contingencies of 30%.

Replacement costs or new build costs would range between $84.3-million and $142.6-million, First Cobalt said on Thursday, depending on the throughput capacity.

“The First Cobalt refinery is a strategic North American asset and potentially our quickest path to cash flow by producing cobalt materials for the North American market,” said First Cobalt president and CEO Trent Mell.

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