Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd (ASX:COB) expects to start constructing a pilot plant in Broken Hill this month after taking delivery of critical equipment, including a leaching circuit and specialist filter equipment.
This equipment has arrived at the Port of Adelaide ready for transport to Broken Hill and installation at the project site.
To provide cobalt product samples
The pilot plant, which is expected to begin operations by the middle of the year, will provide cobalt product samples to the COB Global Partnership Program and will inform the feasibility study for the company’s Broken Hill Cobalt Project (BHCP).
COB’s demonstration plant manager Adam Randall said: “We are delighted that the first module of the demonstration plant equipment is coming to site.
“The construction of the first sections of the pilot plant will commence shortly.
“We anticipate working closely with key business partners in the Broken Hill community to bring our project to life.”
A 3D view of the Broken Hill pilot plant.
Modular in design
The pilot plant will be modular and will be sized upwards to a demonstration by early 2021.
This will see the facility upsized from 1:1,000 scale to full commercial size.
Design, engineering and procurement work is well underway with construction expected to begin once the equipment arrives in Broken Hill.
“Busy and exciting time”
Randall said: “The coming months will be a busy and exciting time for the team at Broken Hill.
“The goal for the pilot plant is to generate commercial samples of battery-grade cobalt sulphate via direct application of our unique processing technology.”
Pilot Plant results will form the basis for engineering design and cost estimates for the demonstration plant underpinning the BHCP feasibility study.
The metallurgical centre will also allow COB to produce varying specifications of cobalt products, including mixed hydroxides and sulphates.
Commissioning by mid-year
Commissioning of the pilot plant is expected by the end of the June quarter of 2020.
COB’s commercial aim remains to make battery-ready cobalt sulphate from this facility on a scale sufficient to provide test samples of 10–20 kilograms for global commercial partners.
“This will support both the BHCP feasibility study as well as our COB Partnerships business,” Randall added.