First Cobalt hands out key contracts for refinery restart, expansion

First Cobalt, advancing its refinery restart in Ontario, Canada, has awarded several contracts for the project – including the preparation of its definitive feasibility study
First Cobalt hands out key contracts for refinery restart, expansion First Cobalt hands out key contracts for refinery restart, expansion First Cobalt hands out key contracts for refinery restart, expansion First Cobalt hands out key contracts for refinery restart, expansion First Cobalt hands out key contracts for refinery restart, expansion

Ausenco Engineering Canada will lead the preparation of the DFS for First Cobalt

Ausenco Engineering Canada will lead the preparation of the DFS for the eventual 55-tonne-per-day facility. In all, it will conduct three engineering studies, including an interim scenario for restarting the refinery at its current capacity of 12t/d.

SGS will oversee the advanced metallurgical test work on cobalt hydroxide and a specialty cobalt feed that Glencore will supply.

"SGS and Ausenco will work collaboratively to further optimise the flowsheet in support of the engineering studies," First Cobalt said. "SGS will also perform the necessary environmental test work on the tailings that result from the process."

Knight Piésold has been selected for the tailings studies needed alongside the feasibility study, and Story Environmental will manage all environmental and permitting aspects of the studies.

During the study phase, project financial partner Glencore will offer technical support through affiliate XPS - Expert Process Solutions.

"Our strategy is to work with Glencore to expand the refinery to serve the growing needs of the North American electric vehicle market. To that end, we have partnered with a first-rate study team appropriate for the importance of the task at hand," president and CEO Trent Mell said.

The work at the facility is set to begin this month with a field programme, which will consist of a small Ausenco crew for testing and inspection of installed equipment and systems to identify any that may require an upgrade or replacement.

Work, the company added, will be completed before the end of the March quarter of 2020.

The First Cobalt refinery, a hydrometallurgical cobalt refinery in the Canadian Cobalt Camp, is just north of the US border. It is the only permitted primary cobalt refinery in North America, according to the company.