First Cobalt to raise $45m for Ontario refinery reopening

First Cobalt’s refinery in Ontario.

First Cobalt (TSXV: FCC) plans to raise $45 million to advance the expansion and recommissioning of its cobalt refinery in northern Ontario. This is the only permitted cobalt refinery in North America and should be operational as early as next year.

The financing involves two separate offerings. An overnight marketed public offering of common shares, priced at $0.25 each, is expected to raise $7.5 million. The second component is a private $37.5 million offering of 6.95% senior secured convertible notes due Dec. 1, 2026. Both are scheduled to close by Sept. 1, 2021.

The company says the refinery will be able to produce either cobalt sulphate for the lithium-ion battery market or cobalt metal for industrial, military or aerospace industries.  The plant will produce 25,000 tonnes of cobalt sulphate per year, an amount equal to %5 of all cobalt produced around the globe.

First Cobalt is also engaged in several cobalt exploration projects. The North, Central and South projects near Cobalt, Ontario, host historic silver-cobalt producers. A technical report on these properties was completed in 2018.

Also of interest is the Iron Creek cobalt project in Lemhi County, Idaho. First Cobalt drilled the property and produced a resource estimate in 2019 that pegged indicated resources at 2.2 million tonnes grading 0.26% cobalt and 0.61% copper. Inferred resources add 2.7 million tonnes at 0.22% cobalt and 0.68% copper. Material from this source may be treated at the refinery in Canada.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)