Northern mayors optimistic about the reopening of First Cobalt Refinery
Mayor George Othmer says at one time, he worked at the First Cobalt Refinery as it's not far from his home. He says he's hoping the company will reopen the facility which is the only one of its kind in North America and it's located in Temiskaming Shores. Aug.3/2020 (Lydia Chubak/CTV News Northern Ontario)
TIMMINS -- The only permitted cobalt refinery in North America capable of producing battery materials is located in northeastern Ontario in Temiskaming Shores, next to the Town of Cobalt.
First Cobalt Refinery officials recently announced they are moving forward with plans to expand the facility as it would then represent five per cent of the global demand for refined cobalt, a material used by the growing electric vehicle industry.
They say with permits and building infrastructure already in place, it will be operational as early as next year.
Mayors in the area welcome the news and say when it reopens, it will benefit them all.
The mayor of Temiskaming Shores, Carmen Kidd, tells CTV News in an email:
"As Mayor of the City of Temiskaming Shores, I have followed their development over the years, with cautious optimism. If they can procure adequate financing and sourcing of feed stock, to complete their recommissioning and expansion plans, this new production process would create much needed jobs for our area. The advances in electric vehicle batteries bodes well for mining communities in North Eastern Ontario. Mining still employs a great number of our residents, and helps to sustain our supply and service industries in our city."
And Cobalt mayor George Othmer added:
"Everybody likes the fact there could possibly be full time jobs that are meaningful. You got to use the word meaningful too because people need that in their lives. Especially young people. We lose enough young people in the North going south and hopefully we can retain some here with this kind of industry starting up."
The company reported it's planning to have advanced discussions with one or more counter-parties, along with Glencore, to conclude financing and commercial terms.
The hydrometallurgical cobalt refinery is located on one-hundred and twenty acres. It operated intermittently from 1996 to 2015.