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Glencore to supply, finance restart of First Cobalt refinery in Ontario

Glencore AG signed a memorandum of understanding to supply cobalt feedstock and finance the recommissioning of First Cobalt Corp.'s namesake refinery in Ontario.

The refinery is expected to produce about 2,000 to 2,500 tonnes of cobalt in sulfate annually. Operations could start within 18 to 24 months.

The Glencore PLC unit will evaluate providing a loan to fund recommissioning expenses, estimated at about US$30 million, and enter a tolling agreement with First Cobalt.

As the only permitted primary cobalt refinery in North America, the First Cobalt refinery has the potential to become the first producer of cobalt sulfate for the U.S. electric vehicle market.

The agreement is subject to due diligence and definitive documentation. First Cobalt noted May 21 that a decision to restart the refinery has not been made, and it does not expect its current projects to provide feedstock.