Canadian company announces plan to open cobalt mine, refinery in east Idaho

Salmon, Idaho based Formation Capital Corporation, U.S., a wholly owned subsidiary of eCobalt Solutions Inc. (ECS.TSX / ECSIF.OTCQB) has received an economic Feasibility Study that outlines the development of a cobalt mining operation near Salmon, Idaho and hydrometallurgical refining facility on a railhead in neighboring Blackfoot, Idaho.  The project is known as the Idaho Cobalt Project, and is owned by eCobalt’s wholly owned subsidiary, Formation Capital Corporation, U.S.

With pre-construction activities already underway, the vertically integrated Idaho Cobalt Project is designed to produce cobalt for the rechargeable batteries market.  The total initial capital cost is estimated at $187 million with additional sustaining, reclamation and closure costs of $101M totaling $288 million.  Construction of the project is contingent upon the successful conclusion of mine financing.

“We are thrilled to announce eCobalt’s planned massive investment in our community that could create numerous full-time, well-paying jobs,” said Blackfoot Mayor Paul Loomis.  “The Idaho Cobalt Project is projected to support mining and refining capabilities beyond 2029.  We’re excited to welcome eCobalt to Blackfoot and build a new railroad spur here to support their refinery operations,” he said.  Approximately 160 jobs would be created at the Idaho Cobalt Project, including 65 in Blackfoot.

According to the recently completed company feasibility study, the eCobalt mine would produce a cobalt/copper/gold concentrate then processes to produce cobalt sulfate heptahydrate, which is used in the production of rechargeable batteries.  The company has already invested over $65 million in Salmon’s mining operation.

“What an exciting announcement the Idaho Cobalt Project is for our Blackfoot and Salmon communities,” said Jan Rogers, CEO of Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI).  “The economic impact the mining and refining operations would have to this region is enormous.  With the global need for increased cobalt production, Eastern Idaho would be the primary location in the United States for high grade reserves of cobalt material thanks to eCobalt’s investment here,” she said.

According to Paul Farquharson, President and C.E.O. of eCobalt, “This is a robust project that could eventually be the sole primary producer of cobalt in the United States.  The future outlook for the electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery markets further supports sustained and long-term demand for cobalt – a critical ingredient in the cathodes of rechargeable batteries.  Our project is an important development for the battery supply chain enabling access to a secure, stable, ethically sourced and environmentally sound supply of battery grade cobalt sulphate, mined safely and responsibly in the United States," he said.

About eCobalt Solutions Inc. (www.ecobalt.com)

eCobalt Solutions is a well-established Toronto Stock Exchange listed company committed to providing ethically produced, environmentally sound, battery grade cobalt salts, essential for the rapidly growing rechargeable battery and renewable energy sectors, made safely, responsibly, and transparently in the United States.