Electra given Canadian federal grant to support EV supply chain

Cobalt refinery project in Temiskaming Shores, Ontario. (Image courtesy of Electra Battery Materials.)

Electra Battery Materials (TSXV: ELBM; NASDAQ: ELBM) has received a C$5 million grant for the Canadian government towards the construction of North America’s first cobalt sulphate refinery.

The plant is located in Temiskaming Shores, Ontario. It will have the capacity to produced 5% of the global supply of battery grade cobalt needed for electric vehicles (EV).

“Canada has surpassed China as the top jurisdiction in the global battery supply chain, given its strength in raw materials mining and processing,” Electra CEO Trent Mell said in a news release. “[Last week’s] announcement from the Government of Canada demonstrates its continued commitment to building a strong, domestic EV supply chain.

“We are grateful for this additional investment as it represents added validation of our progress and will allow Electra to continue to work toward our goal of producing secure, clean and ethically sourced materials that are a crucial part of a sustainable future for electric vehicles in Canada.” 

Electra’s refinery recycles spent batteries, creating black mass from which critical minerals can be recovered. The plant made its first shipment of nickel-cobalt mixed hydroxide precipitate to a customer in July 2023.

Once fully commissioned, the refinery could produce sufficient cobalt for over 1.5 million EVs annually. Last year about 40 tonnes of black mass material was processed to recover critical minerals.

The company has an agreement with LG Energy Solution to supply 19,000 tonnes of cobalt in sulphate beginning in 2025. The total will represent up to 80% of Electra’s expected annual production.