Cobalt Blue Advances on Australian Cobalt Sulphate Refinery Project

Cobalt Blue Advances on Australian Cobalt Sulphate Refinery Project

Cobalt Blue Holdings is making significant progress in developing Australia’s first Cobalt Sulphate Refinery, marking key milestones in its journey towards enhancing the country’s position in the global battery supply chain. The company has successfully processed large-scale feedstock samples from third parties and initiated detailed engineering design for the refinery, with permitting processes set to commence in mid-2024.

The project, which is on track for a construction decision in the third quarter of 2024, has attracted interest from both domestic and international parties, highlighting the strategic importance of establishing a midstream critical mineral capacity in Australia. Cobalt Blue and Iwatani Australia are set to jointly present the refinery project at the Cobalt Institute Conference in May 2024, aiming to meet compliance standards set by the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU Critical Raw Materials Act.

A recent study by Cobalt Blue has showcased the refinery’s potential to maintain stable margins across the cobalt price cycle, emphasizing the project’s resilience and strategic significance. The refinery’s development is closely watched by the Western Australian State and Australian Commonwealth governments, underscoring the project’s potential to contribute significantly to the global battery supply chain.

Cobalt Blue has secured 10 tonnes of third-party feedstocks for trial runs at its Demonstration Plant in Broken Hill, focusing on optimizing key unit operations crucial for the production of high-quality cobalt sulphate. These trials aim to meet stringent specifications required by the Japanese battery industry, positioning Cobalt Blue favorably for broader global partnerships.

The company has also initiated the detailed engineering phase and is in the process of selecting construction and management partners. In terms of feed supply, Cobalt Blue is committed to sourcing only from suppliers meeting strict environmental, labor, and traceability standards. Initial feedstock contracts are expected to be executed by mid-2024.

Cobalt Blue aims to secure initial offtake contracts by mid-2024, working closely with precursor cathode active material manufacturers to optimize product specifications. The project’s compliance with the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU Critical Raw Materials Act is a key focus, with a market deficit in compliant material anticipated to emerge in the coming years. icon

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