TSX-listed Canada Cobalt Works produced the first premium-grade cobalt sulphate from its 100%-owned Castle mine, in Northern Ontario, using its proprietary Re-2OX process.
President and CEO Frank Basa said in a statement on Thursday that pilot plant production of cobalt/nickel-rich gravity concentrates at the Castle mine was now under way to allow for a scaling up of the Re-2OX process during this quarter.
The company also said it was moving toward the creation of nickel/manganese/cobalt battery grade formulations.
“Through the expertise of Dr Ron Molnar and the team at SGS, in Peterborough, we demonstrated that we can create a premium grade end-product – cobalt sulphate – without a smelting process from concentrate produced from the Castle mine,” he said.
“The environment-friendly Re-2OX process has produced a technical grade cobalt sulphate hexahydrate at 22.6% directly from cobalt-rich gravity concentrates produced – bypassing the smelting process – from the first level of the Castle mine in the Northern Ontario Cobalt Camp.
“The 22.6% grade exceeds the technical specifications of cathode producers in Asia, who are in discussions with the company's marketing representative in that region to evaluate Canada Cobalt sample product for potential battery sector use. Re-2OX will meet client specific purities,” said Basa.
Cobalt, nickel and manganese recoveries from the concentrate using Re-2OX were 99%, 81% and 84%, respectively, while 99% of the arsenic was removed, the company added.
The pure-play Canada Cobalt highlighted the efficiency and effectiveness of the Re-2OX process, which is amenable to scaling up.
The adaptable Re-2OX process will now be used to create a Canada Cobalt suite of nickel/manganese/cobalt (NMC) battery-grade formulations using an additive approach where necessary.
“We look forward to marketing the Canada Cobalt Re-2OX brand to the battery sector while we ramp up activity at the Castle mine underground and at surface. Underground work, including diamond drilling, is proceeding extremely well, while the pilot plant and a surface drill programme to test for potential new discoveries east of the mine add important new dimensions to the project,” Basa concluded.