Trevisiol to lead First Cobalt refinery project

17th August 2020 By: Creamer Media Reporter

TSX-V-listed First Cobalt has appointed Mark Trevisiol as VP, project development as the company prepares for the construction and commissioning of its refinery in Ontario, Canada.

Trevisiol, who spent more than 20 years with Glencore predecessor companies Falconbridge and Xstrata Nickel, will have overall responsibility for the recommissioning and expansion of the First Cobalt refinery.

". . . Mark's experience provides additional depth to our leadership team to ensure successful execution. We are pleased with the progress being made on project optimisation as well as the interest shown by potential financing partners,” First Cobalt CEO Trent Mell commented in a statement.

The refinery is North America’s only permitted cobalt refinery. First Cobalt and Glencore last year entered into a partnership framework to commission the refinery. Subject to certain conditions, the agreement contemplates that First Cobalt will treat cobalt feed material supplied from Glencore’s Democratic Republic of Congo operations for an initial five years on a tolling basis.

The objective is to produce about 25 000 t/y of cobalt sulphate for the electric vehicle market.

Last month, First Cobalt announced that it was moving directly to an expansion scenario at its cobalt refinery and that it would conduct pilot plant work at third-party facilities, saving millions of dollars.

An on-site demonstration plant would have required "several million dollars" of additional investment that would not have been credited toward the 55 t/d expansion, currently estimated at $56-million.

"EV manufacturers expressed no preference for an on-site demonstration plant, as final product qualification will be conducted from material produced at the expanded refinery.”

The company released a detailed engineering study for an expansion of the refinery from 12 t/d to 55 t/d, in May. An expanded refinery would represent up to 5% of global demand for refined cobalt.