Cobalt Blue (COB) has released an update on its proposed large-scale, cobalt-nickel refinery, which is set to be the first refinery in Australia to produce battery-grade cobalt sulphate.
The facility will be among the first large Allied Nation investments in cobalt refining for decades. The refinery is expected to establish COB as an early entrant into the emerging midstream segment of the Allied Battery Supply Chain.
Stage one of the refinery inolves processing third-party feedstock with a capacity of 3,000tpa cobalt sulphate and 1,000tpa nickel sulphate.
Stage two offers optionality for the inclusion of feedstock from the Broken Hill Cobalt Project (BHCP). COB has said that a study conducted had presented a compelling evaluation of a cobalt and nickel refining business that is expected to generate stable margins throughout the highs and lows of the cobalt price cycle, on a 100 per cent owned basis.
COB said that it is engaged with a potential partner that owns a suitable property in the Kwinana district and expects to commence refinery construction in 2024.
The potential partner is further determining an appropriate level of equity ownership in the Cobalt-Nickel Refinery via a funding contribution. COB will likely not own 100 per cent of the project as a result of the partners’ ownership. These negotiations are ongoing.
The advancement of the Cobalt-Nickel Refinery significantly de-risks the downstream portion of the BHCP. BHCP feasibility studies are progressing, focussing on finalising/optimising capital and operating estimates, with the feasibility study now likely to be delivered in April 2024.
COB said that Cobalt in Waste Streams Projects are progressing with its recent update regarding Flin Flon Mine test work, whilst other targets are being pursued in Queensland and the EU.