Electra receives $5M from Government of Canada towards construction of N. Am. cobalt sulfate refinery
Electra Battery Materials Corporation received a $5-million investment from the Government of Canada towards the construction of North America’s first cobalt sulfate refinery. Located in Temiskaming Shores, Ontario, the facility will produce approximately five percent of the global supply of battery grade cobalt needed for electric vehicles.
The investment will be provided in the form of a grant from the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor).
Pending completion, Electra’s refinery complex aims to be the first in North America to integrate the production of critical minerals, including cobalt sulfate and nickel sulfate, needed for the North American electric vehicle battery supply chain with the processing of black mass material, designed to recover high value elements found in recycled lithium-ion batteries, including lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, graphite, and copper.
Throughout 2023, Electra operated a plant scale battery recycling trial at its refinery complex, processing more than 40 tonnes of black mass material and producing high-quality nickel, cobalt and lithium products.
Once fully commissioned, the refinery could produce sufficient cobalt for up to 1.5 million electric vehicles annually. In July 2023, Electra announced that its battery grade cobalt sulfate agreement with LG Energy Solution, a leading global manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, had been extended and expanded from initial terms. The agreement now provides for the supply of 19,000 tonnes of cobalt contained in sulfate beginning in 2025. The total will represent up to 80% of Electra’s expected annual production.
It is estimated that the refinery complex has a current replacement cost of more than $250 million. The cobalt project has been derisked through the delivery of most long lead equipment and by commissioning the legacy refinery operations for the black mass demonstration plant.