THE GROUND FLOOR OF A BATTERY INDUSTRY
Electra Battery Materials Corp.
In a province where many are talking about building an electric-vehicle battery supply chain, Electra Battery Materials Corp. CEO Trent Mell is taking action to make that a reality.
The mining company locked in the financing to recommission and expand its refinery in Northern Ontario this fall, and with construction now under way, is poised to become the sole North American producer of battery-grade cobalt by the end of 2022.
Electra Battery Materials, recently rebranded from First Cobalt Corp. to reflect its wider ambitions, does not plan to stop there.
At its site in Cobalt, Ont., the company plans to build a battery materials park that would process cobalt, nickel and other key minerals into material for use in battery cathodes. The integrated operation, said Mell, would reduce costs, make use of locally produced resources and centralize several of the key value-added steps in the battery production process in Ontario.
There are still obstacles to clear, including lining up about $500 million for the project, but with a head start on permitting and a location within striking distance of North America’s auto heartland, Mell, 51, is positioning his company to answer booming demand for battery materials.