Reception of Critical Equipment Amid Delays
Electra Battery Materials Corporation today shared updates on its cobalt sulfate refinery construction, highlighting its uniqueness in North America for addressing electric vehicle battery supply chain demands. Recently, Electra received US$5 million in essential equipment, including pressure vessels and tanks, vital for its solvent extraction plant and crystallizer circuit completion. These components, initially expected by Q4 2022, faced delays due to supply chain issues. The installation will proceed once Electra meets the project’s capital funding needs, with the team currently focusing on black mass recycling trials at the refinery.
Project Status and Financial Strategy
Located near Toronto, Canada, Electra’s permitted hydrometallurgical complex carries an estimated replacement value of around US$200 million. To finish construction, an additional US$55.7 to $62 million is necessary. Electra’s management is pursuing primarily non-dilutive funding solutions, collaborating with government entities and industry participants to secure the required capital.
Operational Outlook and Capacity
Upon completion, the refinery is projected to have the capacity to produce cobalt for about 1.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) each year. On July 24, 2023, Electra expanded its cobalt sulfate supply agreement with LG Energy Solution, a notable lithium-ion battery producer. This revised arrangement commits to supplying 19,000 tonnes of cobalt in sulfate from 2025, fulfilling up to 80% of Electra’s anticipated annual output.
Trent Mell, CEO of Electra, comments on the ongoing trials and refinery progress, emphasizing the objective to secure capital and enhance key EV supply chain partnerships. The firm is negotiating with government authorities to obtain US$10.9 million in already-promised funds and is optimistic about procuring larger financial support to finalize the refinery’s construction and launch.