First Cobalt secures feedstock for Ontario refinery

First Cobalt Corp. [FCC-TSXV; FTSSF-OTCQB; FCC-ASX) on Tuesday January 12 said Swiss metals trading giant Glencore AG and IXM SA (a unit of China Molybdenum Co. Ltd. (CMOC)) have agreed to provide cobalt feedstock to the company’s Ontario refinery.

That feedstock will be sourced from Glencore’s KKC mine and CMOC’s Tenke Fungurume. Both mines are in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

First Cobalt entered into long-term cobalt hydroxide feed arrangements with Glencore and IXM, which will provide a total of 4,500 tonnes/year of contained cobalt to First Cobalt’s refinery.

The supply agreements represent 90% of projected capacity for the refinery, yielding 22,250 tonnes/year of battery-grade cobalt sulfate.

“Securing long term feed from two of the highest quality cobalt hydroxide operations in the world supports First Cobalt’s strategy of producing the world’s most sustainable cobalt for electric vehicles,” the company said in a press release.

“This is a pivotal moment for our North American cobalt refining strategy,” said First Cobalt President and CEO Trent Mell. “Our globally competitive cost structure and industry-leading ESG credentials put us in a strong position for a rapidly growing electric vehicle market,” Mell said.

In December 2020, the Ontario and Canadian governments announced a joint $10 million investment in the First Cobalt Refinery, a move that is expected to accelerate the commissioning and expansion.

He said the company is now focused on offtake arrangements and the financing package with the goal of commencing construction in mid-2021 and full commissioning [of the refinery] in the 2nd half of 2022.

Support in August, 2019, First Cobalt launched that Glencore had agreed provide a US$5 million mortgage to fund the recommissioning of the firm’s refinery. First Cobalt additionally said a scoping rep out about had previously estimated that if the First Cobalt Refinery operated at 55 tonnes per day, it might perhaps perhaps rep 5,000 tonnes of contained cobalt each year in sulfate, assuming a cobalt hydroxide feed, grading 30% cobalt.

Under the terms of the binding cobalt hydroxide provide contract, Glencore AG will provide the First Cobalt Refinery from the KCC mining operation for 5 years, taking off in the fourth quarter of 2022. First Cobalt has additionally signed a memorandum of notion with IXM for cobalt from CMOC’s Tenke Fungurume mining operation in the DRC over the identical length.