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Cobalt junior eyes northeastern Ontario refinery

CobalTech signs letter of intent to buy North Cobalt processor
The Yukon Refinery in North Cobalt

CobalTech Mining announced Feb. 21 that it’s signed a letter of intent to acquire a fully permitted processing plant in North Cobalt that’s close to its cobalt mineral properties.

The Vancouver exploration outfit said this acquisition will enable them to become one of the first companies in North America to be able to process and refine cobalt.

CobalTech Mining owns the Duncan Kerr Property, a former mine site, south of Cobalt, and has been adding more properties to its stable in recent weeks.

The facility is believed to be the former Yukon refinery which closed in late 2014 when Swiss-based United Commodity ran out of cash.

The facility has a permitted production capacity of 4,000 tonnes daily, which can be expanded with additional permitting.

CobalTech expects the transaction to be completed within 60 days. Under the terms of the agreement,

CobalTech has the option to buy the refinery. The full terms will be set forth in the final agreement.

The company said it’s done some due diligence and has retained BBA, an engineering firm from Montréal, to assist in the process.

The firm has conducted visits to the mill along with Story Environmental of New Liskeard, which has been responsible for all environmental monitoring and permitting for the last decade and handling all the compliance issues and permits.

"This acquisition will position CobalTech ahead of its competition in supplying the growing demand for ethically sourced cobalt," said company chairman Bruce Bragagnolo in the news release.

"CobalTech's vision of being one the first companies to process cobalt in North America is taking a major advancement with the purchase of this facility. This completes the goal of vertical integration from an operations standpoint. CobalTech will now be assessing whether to proceed alone or actively start looking for a strategic partner to help advance the project," said CobalTech president-CEO Antoine Fournier in a statement.