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A new owner for Cobalt’s PolyMet Labs

Canada Cobalt Works acquires northeastern Ontario mineral processing facility
PolyMet Labs (Cobalt)
PolyMet Labs in Cobalt.

PolyMet Labs, a Cobalt fire assay analytic lab and mineral processing facility, is being acquired by Canada Cobalt Works.

In a $650,000 cash and share deal, the Couquitlam, B.C.-based cobalt and precious metals junior miner announced Oct. 10 it has signed a binding letter of intent to acquire the assets of PolyMet Resources, including PolyMet Labs and its 23,000-square-foot facility in the town of Cobalt.

A news release from Canada Cobalt Works (formerly Castle Silver Resources) called this a “strategic time in the precious metals cycle” and picking up the facility offers them “multiple immediate and long-term advantages” with a high capacity bullion melting furnace to pour silver and gold dore bars.

The PolyMet building on Presley Street will become the new headquarters of Canada Cobalt. It will also be the host site for its proprietary Re-2OX Process for environmentally-friendly extraction of cobalt, precious and base metals. 

Canada Cobalt said the building has nearby rail access and is close to its Beaver exploration property outside of town and is 85 kilometres away from their Castle Mine project near Gowganda.

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PolyMet is a well-known, well-established and diversified sampling and analytical operation that provides commercial assaying, crushing, screening, grinding, bulk sampling, upgrading and smelting services all in one location.

Gino Chitaroni, PolyMet’s president and majority owner, formed the company in 2000.

Chitaroni and his team will be retained on contracts with share-based incentive clauses related to certain business milestones over the next 12 months. 

"This deal builds dramatically on Canada Cobalt's current competitive advantages and opportunities - technological, on the ground and underground - in a rejuvenated silver-cobalt district recognized as the birthplace of Canadian hard rock mining,” said Canada Cobalt president-CEO Frank Basa in a statement.

“With such a unique and fully operational facility in the town of Cobalt, so close to the Castle mine and other properties, Canada Cobalt achieves a key goal of becoming a vertically integrated leader in Canada's silver-cobalt heartland while it also exploits a powerful new cycle in precious metals." 

According to the release, PolyMet has been making inroads into the potentially lucrative e-waste business, with Canada Cobalt’s help. Material from mixed computer boards is being processed through the facility's shredder and ball mill to recover precious and base metals.

"We see some really exciting synergies here,” said Chitaroni. “Canada Cobalt's track record of success in this district made them the perfect fit to take the PolyMet Lab and facility to the next level while I remain involved to assist Canada Cobalt from an operational standpoint.

 "We appear to have entered a dynamic new cycle for silver and gold, which could really help to ignite this business in terms of its traditional drivers, while we're seeing exciting new opportunities in the e-waste sector that can be more fully exploited through this transaction.

“Bullion pouring, bulk sampling, commercial assaying, and e-waste are PolyMet's four key immediate profit centres that merge with Canada Cobalt, creating powerful new synergies. Hosting Re-2OX and accelerating the development of such a unique and environmentally friendly process at this facility is a major coup for the town of Cobalt and the broader district."