Jervois calls on Wood for refinery study

As the result of a competitive tender process that involved global engineering groups, Jervois has appointed Wood as its preferred engineering contractor for the refinery scoping study at the Idaho Cobalt Operations complex in the northwestern US
Jervois calls on Wood for refinery study Jervois calls on Wood for refinery study Jervois calls on Wood for refinery study Jervois calls on Wood for refinery study Jervois calls on Wood for refinery study

The Idaho Cobalt Operations site near Salmon in central Idaho, US

The announcement comes just three weeks after the mining company appointed DRA Global and M3 Engineering to be the property's bankable feasibility study engineers.

Specifically, the scoping study will review commercially demonstrated technology for sulphide concentrate processing all the way through to production of refined cobalt metal. Additionally, the study will also evaluate battery recycling technology and processing of third-party feed, with a focus on enhancing the facility's strategic importance to the US.

"Metallurgical testwork at SGS Canada will underpin the optimised concentrate chemical characteristics prior to finalising the preferred flowsheet and technology," Jervois said.

"As part of the current feasibility study being led by DRA and M3, preliminary results obtained from the SGS testwork have achieved satisfactory separation and selectivity between copper and cobalt. Locked cycle tests are planned to define the improved selectivity."

Under its current schedule, the mine is initially set to produce in the second half of 2021, with the resulting output in concentrate form.

"Refining ICO concentrate through to cobalt metal is a medium-term development option for Jervois to ensure the United States maintains access to a strategic metal identified as a critical mineral," officials noted, adding that the study will allow the miner to accelerate refining concentrate within Idaho - wiith Blackfoot already selected as the preferred refinery location.

The refinery study is forecast to be completed by the end of the March quarter next year.

The ICO will be the only domestic cobalt mine within the US when it commences commercial concentrate production.