First Cobalt Corp. (FCC) has received the second of three permit amendments to recommission its hydrometallurgical refinery in Canada. Receipt of the Air & Noise Environmental Compliance Approval from the Ontario government is a key milestone in the advancement of its North American battery materials strategy.

The third and final permit amendment has undergone community consultations, and has been submitted to the relevant ministry for review. Final approval is expected shortly, the company said. It added that the US$60 million facility expansion remains on schedule to be commissioned in Q4’2022.

Once commissioned, First Cobalt expects its hydrometallurgical refinery to have peer leading ESG credentials, with the lowest Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions in the industry.

Trent Mell, President & CEO said, “In the first half of 2021, sales of electric vehicles in the U.S. were up more than 130% and that trend could accelerate with several new EV models hitting the market. With financing in place, receipt of this latest permit keeps us on schedule for Phase 1 of our North American Battery Materials Park strategy. By the end of 2022, we will be the only producer of battery-grade cobalt sulfate in North America. In 2023, Phase 2 will entail commercial-scale battery recycling from the same facility, leveraging existing personnel and infrastructure. In Phase 3, we will set our sights on building a nickel sulfate plant, once again becoming the sole North American supplier of an important raw material for the EV industry.”