Jervois shortlists locations for US cobalt refinery

26th February 2024 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

Australia-based Jervois Gobal has identified two preferred locations for its bankable feasibility study (BFS) for a US-located cobalt refinery, with AFRY USA leading the initiative.

The shortlisted industrial sites are in the states of Pennsylvania and Louisiana.

The proposed US cobalt refinery aims to produce cobalt sulphate, a critical component for electric vehicle batteries. Jervois anticipates a significant surge in demand for cobalt from 2025 onwards, based on negotiations with various automotive companies, particularly those in the US.

The US cobalt refinery is also expected to become a hub of cobalt recycling in the US. Leveraging Jervois’ global leadership in closed-loop supply chains of critical minerals, the refinery will capitalise on the company’s advanced cobalt manufacturing facility in Kokkola, Finland.

Jervois has invested $155-million to construct the sole primary cobalt mine in the US, near Salmon, Idaho.

Collaborating with the US government, the company is exploring ways to vertically integrate its US cobalt business. The objective is to establish a seamless connection between cobalt mine and refinery production, enhancing national resilience for US consumers who currently rely on imported refined cobalt.

To support its plans, Jervois has submitted an application for a US cobalt refinery under the Department of Energy ATVM Loan Program. The company’s approach is further supported by the existing Department of Defense $15-million Agreement Funding, ensuring full reimbursement for basic engineering and bankable feasibility study, along with site selection.