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Electra Battery Materials inks tolling contract with Glencore

Temiskaming refinery to be start processing African cobalt in late 2022
First Cobalt refinery 1

Electra Battery Materials has signed an updated agreement with international miner Glencore in receiving African-mined cobalt in late 2022 to be refined in Temiskaming.

Electra, the owners of a cobalt refinery being refurbished on the outskirts of the town of Cobalt, announced Dec. 30 that it has signed a five-year cobalt tolling contract with Glencore to accept unprocessed cobalt hydroxide feed from Glencore’s KCC mining operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Electra had previously signed a five-year cobalt hydroxide feed purchase agreement with Glencore.

According to this new agreement, Glencore will have an option to toll 1,000 tonnes of contained cobalt at the refinery. Electra will have an option to purchase an additional undisclosed quantity of cobalt hydroxide material from Glencore, each on an annual basis for a five-year term for refining at Electra’s refinery.

Glencore, together with another mining company, IXM SA, will be shipping a total of 4,500 tonnes of unrefined cobalt from in the Democratic Republic of Congo to be processed in northeastern Ontario.

The Temiskaming refinery goes into operation in the fourth quarter of 2022 with production pegged at 6,500 tonnes of cobalt sulfate.

Electra is out to make a refined cobalt product for battery manufacturers in the automotive industry. Processing cobalt is only one aspect of Electra's plans to finance and construct a fully integrated battery materials industrial park on the site of the former Yukon refinery.

As part of its commitment to sustainable production, Electra said it intends to join the Fair Cobalt Alliance and adopt the Cobalt Institute's Cobalt Industry Responsible Assessment Framework.

“Today’s announcement is a validation of our strategy by the world’s largest cobalt miner,” said Electra CEO Trent Mell in a statement. “We are very pleased to partner with Glencore as a means to establish our cobalt sulfate product as a premium brand in the EV market due to its traceability and low carbon footprint.”