Cobalt Producer ERG Plans to Build Battery Materials Plant

Battery Metals
Cobalt Investing

The plant, which could be built in just two years, would produce nickel-cobalt-manganese precursor materials for electric vehicles.

Cobalt producer Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) said it’s considering building a lithium-ion battery precursor plant to supply the growing electric vehicle (EV) industry. 

The plant, which could be built in just two years, would produce nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) precursor materials for EVs, allowing for production of both NCM 6:2:2 and NCM 8:1:1 precursors depending on market conditions.

“Together with our partners, we are currently considering multiple locations for the development of the precursor plant,” said Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group.

The company expects to develop the plant in two phases, with the first phase expected to produce 90,000 metric tons of NCM annually. The expansion will be decided depending on market conditions.

“Our aim is to continue to responsibly service a burgeoning battery sector which is set to grow by 19 times by 2030, according to a recent report by the Global Battery Alliance,” he added.

The precursor plant would only use cobalt hydroxide from ERG’s Metalkol RTR facility in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the company also produces copper cathode. The facility reprocesses metal tailings previously deposited in the Kingamyambo tailings dam and Musonoi River Valley.

The project has been ramping up since last year and is expected to produce 14,000 metric tons per year of cobalt in hydroxide and 77,000 metric tons per year of copper cathode during Phase 1. Once it moves to Phase 2, Metalkol RTR may increase production to an average of 24,000 metric tons per year of cobalt and 120,000 metric tons per year of copper.

Meanwhile, nickel supply for the plant will come from third parties, or the company could potentially produce it, according to ERG.

In the DRC, ERG mines copper and cobalt, processing the ore at the Boss Mining, Frontier and Comide operations. Additionally, the company has a number of development and near-production assets in the African country. In Zambia, ERG owns Chambishi Metals, its central cobalt and copper refinery.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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