2019 Refinery Study
On May 28, 2019, First Cobalt announced the results of a scoping study for the restart of the First Cobalt Refinery in Canada using third party cobalt hydroxide as feed material.
The report outlined three restart scenarios, each assuming that the refinery would primarily treat cobalt hydroxide grading approximately 30% cobalt. In all scenarios, the Refinery’s autoclave circuit is not required thereby eliminating the first constraint to higher production rates.
The first scenario (Case 0) assumed minimal capital investment outside refurbishing existing equipment. The next scenario (Case 1) assumed an additional capital investment to alleviate the bottleneck in the current solvent extraction (SX) circuit. The final scenario (Case 3) added an additional capital investment to alleviate the liquid-solid separation limitations of the currently installed equipment. Details of the three scenarios are summarized in Table 1.
A link to the full report is below and the summary findings are as follows:
Potential production scenarios (Numbers in US$)
|Case 0||Using currently installed equipment, flowsheet changed to process cobalt hydroxide feed. Production limited by the capacity of the currently installed SX circuit.||675||$12.0M||$4.69|
|Case 1||Using an expanded SX circuit, production is limited by capacity of the currently installed liquid-solid separation equipment||1,964||$18.4M||$2.88|
|Case 2||Using additional liquid-solid separation equipment, production limited by filtration capacity and the size of the existing building||5,020||$37.5M||$2.29|
*Tonnes per annum of cobalt in cobalt sulfate
**Operating costs were reduced by approximately 30% since the May 28, 2019 press release due to lower reagent costs, based on quotations rather than estimates