The pact details opportunities for future employment, training and business procurement related to the build-out of the refinery into a battery metals industrial park situated between Cobalt and Temiskaming Shores.
The Métis Nation will also become part owners in the refinery. Electra said it's issuing 20,000 common shares to the MNO.
Company CEO Trent Mell called the signing a “milestone” achievement on the path toward the commissioning of the refinery by the end of this year.
“It demonstrates our commitment to operations that are environmentally, culturally, and socially responsible, and also reflects our commitment to working with Indigenous communities in respectful and mutually beneficial ways.”
Lorette McKnight, president of the MNO's Temiskaming Métis Council, welcomed Electra’s pledge to support “economic, cultural and educational activities” in the Temiskaming region.
“The construction of a battery materials plant in Ontario on the James Bay and Abitibi/Temiscamingue Métis Traditional Territories represents an exciting development that will create many opportunities while also supporting environmental sustainability through reducing carbon emissions as a result of the adoption of electric vehicles.”
Toronto-based Electra is expanding the former Yukon refinery in northeastern Ontario into North America’s first battery metals park. It will process the refined critical minerals material needed in the manufacturing of batteries used in the electric vehicle sector.
The plant will start refining cobalt imported from the Democratic Republic of Congo later this year. Electra is also setting up a demonstrate-scale plant this fall to recycle spent batteries and extract the valuable metals.
The company also announced it’s offering an academic bursary of $1,000 to a deserving student in the graduating class of Englehart High School, Timiskaming District Secondary School, Kirkland Lake District Composite School, and École Secondaire catholique Sainte-Marie.