Government of Canada invests $250,000 to complete study on expanding Northern Ontario’s first cobalt refinery to create a battery materials park
FedNor funding to set the stage for Northern Ontario’s key role in the green economy
March 1, 2022 – Temiskaming Shores, ON – Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario – FedNor
Mining and related industries employ more than 630,000 people across the country and contribute as much as $100 billion a year to Canada’s GDP. With one of the largest concentrations of mining and related businesses in Canada, Northern Ontario’s mining industry is a key economic driver that fuels social and economic growth, while creating jobs and opportunities for families throughout the region.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North, announced a Government of Canada investment of $250,000 in support of business development in the Timiskaming District of Northern Ontario. FedNor funding will be used by Electra Battery Materials Corporation, the only North American producer of cobalt sulfate for electric vehicle batteries, to complete a scoping study on expanding its existing cobalt refinery into North America’s only fully integrated battery materials park in Temiskaming Shores.
Provided through FedNor’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program, the funding will enable Electra to evaluate the technical requirements, risks and benefits associated with the continued development and successful completion of its Battery Materials Park over the next three years.
The existing cobalt refinery is expected to supply battery grade cobalt sulfate for up to 1.5 million fully electric vehicles on an annual basis. With the development of a fully integrated battery materials park, the potential expansion opportunities in the medium- and long-term could support the manufacturing of millions of new vehicles annually. The expansion is focused on additional areas of the supply chain, namely nickel sulfate production and the production of precursor cathode active materials in Ontario.
Once complete, the Battery Materials Park will encompass cobalt sulfate, nickel sulfate, cathode precursor materials production, as well as lithium-ion battery recycling operations. Operations will commence with cobalt sulfate towards the end of 2022, followed by battery recycling in mid-2023. These facilities are currently in construction. The successful completion of the study will lead to construction of nickel sulfate and precursor materials plants, with operations tentatively set to begin in 2025.
The Battery Materials Park will support Canada’s continued economic growth as the world moves towards a future of electric mobility and renewable energy. This investment in the Battery Park Study also helps advance the Canada-U.S. Joint Action Plan for Critical Minerals Collaboration by strengthening the North American supply chain security for this critical battery mineral. While both Canada and the US have an abundance of critical minerals in the ground, projects such as Electra’s Battery Materials Park, are needed to process these materials so that they can be used domestically.
“The demand for electric vehicles is increasing and Northern Ontario is poised to take advantage of the opportunities the changing market is presenting. Our government is pleased to support this project that will enable Electra Battery Materials Corporation to expand its operations, create well-paying jobs for Canadians, reduce the company’s environmental footprint and increase its global competitiveness in the electric vehicle parts and battery manufacturing supply chain.”
- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North
“As North America's only producer of cobalt sulfate, Electra Battery Materials Corporation would enable Canada to enter the ecosystem of electrification, attracting further investments in the changing auto industry supply chain. The cobalt sulfate produced at the facility would help with Canada's carbon dioxide reduction strategy and support the development of 645,000 electric vehicles annually.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Today’s announcement will help create many new economic benefits in the Nipissing–Timiskaming area. With one of the largest concentration of mining and related businesses in Canada, Northern Ontario’s mining industry is a key economic driver that fuels social and economic growth, while creating jobs and opportunities for families throughout the region.”
- The Honourable Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing–Timiskaming
“We are delighted to partner with Canada on this Battery Materials Park project. Ontario is home to North America’s only battery-grade cobalt refinery, an abundance of nickel, and clean hydroelectric power. Together, we can leverage Electra's existing footprint and the Government of Canada’s ambitions to build a world-class battery supply chain. This is a great example of a true win-win where the public and private sectors are coming together to create meaningful economic opportunity."
- Trent Mell, President & CEO, Electra Battery Materials Corporation
The Government of Canada funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program, which supports businesses at all stages of development, including start-up, scale-up and technology adoption.
In December 2020, the Government of Canada and Province of Ontario announced an investment of $10 Million to establish North America’s first cobalt refinery in Northern Ontario and accelerate domestic production of battery-grade cobalt sulfate, a required element needed to produce long-range electric vehicles.
Alison Murphy, Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor
Communications Director, FedNor
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