Temiskaming cobalt refinery construction underway

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View of first stage of leaching circuit

 

Ontario Construction Report staff writer

Crews have started pouring concrete at a Temiskaming-area cobalt refinery.

Electra Battery Materials provided an update in March on construction of North America’s only battery grade cobalt refinery, announcing that it has started foundation work of the solvent extraction plant. The $84 million project remains on budget and on schedule for a December 2022 commissioning.

Late last year all earthworks for the plant were completed. The pre-engineered building is expected to be completed by the end of April.

Brownfield mechanical equipment verification is 77 per cent complete with all major existing equipment having been tested. The existing mechanical/electrical and instrumentation equipment have demonstrated excellent performance when test run, with few upgrades required.

In the coming weeks, the build out of the cobalt crystallizer circuit will begin, with the arrival of key equipment on site between April and June.

“Our team has been focused on both the recommissioning of our existing refinery equipment and preparing the site for the construction of the new solvent extraction and crystallizer plant facilities,” Mark Trevisiol, vice-president, project development, said in a statement.

“These are important milestones and a credit to our project owner’s team and our consultants who continue to demonstrate a disciplined commitment to executing this project.”

The project update boasts the safety record with no lost-time incidents and confirms the work is progressing on time and on budget.”

“Canada is becoming a key player in the midstream of the North American electric vehicle supply chain,” CEO Trent Mell said in a statement.

“Recent investment decisions by some of the largest players in the EV industry continue to validate our early-mover strategy. While our team continues to deliver on the recommissioning of the refinery, we are aggressively pursuing commercial partnerships and growth opportunities to deliver value to shareholders.”

Electra is planning to build a fully integrated battery materials park with cobalt and nickel sulfate production plants, a large-scale lithium-ion battery recycling facility and a battery precursor materials partnership to support North American and European electric vehicle production.

Electra’s goal is to produce sufficient battery materials for up to 1.5 million electric vehicles annually and the cobalt sulfate facility is on schedule to start commissioning in Q4 2022. It will be the first in Electra’s four-phase Battery Materials Park project.

In the coming years, Electra intends to build further processing capacity for nickel sulfate, recycling of primary and secondary battery scrap materials and precursor production.

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