In October, 2018, First Cobalt announced the results of three independent studies undertaken to estimate capital requirements, operating costs, permit renewal timelines, potential feedstock options and offtake opportunities to support a restart of the First Cobalt Refinery in Ontario, Canada.


  • Under a 24 tonnes per day (tpd) base case scenario, the refinery could produce up to 1,000 tonnes of cobalt per year; the study also considers an expansion scenario of up to 50 tpd
  • At 24 tpd and using the current flowsheet, the capital cost of the restart is $25.7M (including a 30% contingency) and operating cost is estimated at $6.7M per annum
  • Permitting review concludes that a restart is possible within 18 months of selecting a feedstock under the base case scenario
  • Potential feed material includes cobalt concentrate from mining operations, ethically-sourced cobalt hydroxide material from the DRC and recycled battery materials from North America
  • Refinery could produce a cobalt sulfate for the lithium-ion battery market or cobalt metal for the American aerospace industry

Discussions initiated with potential offtake partners

      24 TPD 50 TPD
      (Base Case)  
Total Cost with 30% Contingency US$M 25.72 105.36
Feed Processed   Tonnes 8,760 18,250
Head Grades Ni % 10.50 10.50
  Co % 15.00 15.00
Availability   % 90 90
    h/a 7,884 16,425
Recoveries Co % 90 90
  Ni % 90 90
Mass of Metal Recovered Ni Tonnes 745 1,552
  Co Tonnes 1,064 2,217
  Co Mlbs 2.35 4.89

*Concentrate metal content fed into the First Cobalt Refinery will vary dependent upon feed source. A range of potential production rates for each option is provided. A mass pull to concentrate of 6% has been assumed.

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