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Canada-based mining firm First Cobalt has started a metallurgical study located near its mill facility in the Canadian Cobalt Camp.

Intended to advance the company’s early cash flow strategy, the study began on a high- grade inventory of refinery residue and crushed waste rock material.

The company has partnered with Dundee Sustainable Technologies in order to evaluate an optimal flow sheet for recovering cobalt and silver, as well as arsenic removal and stabilisation.

Using the programme, First Cobalt intends to obtain additional understanding related to opportunities for early cash flow from processing surface muck piles from historic underground mining operations.

“This study is an important step toward our goal of producing cobalt battery materials in North America.”

First Cobalt president and CEO Trent Mell said: “The results of this programme will improve our understanding of processing options for materials from the Cobalt Camp.

“While we continue to advance our exploration strategy, another key strategic objective is to seize upon the opportunity to generate early cash flow from material left on the surface from historic mining operations.

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“This study is an important step toward our goal of producing cobalt battery materials in North America.”

The scope of the study includes testing three piles with a historic resource estimate, totalling around 6,500t with average grades ranging from 0.65% to 1.55% cobalt.

In addition to arsenic removal and stabilisation, the programme will focus on analytical characterisation of the samples, gravity concentration and hydrometallurgical recovery of cobalt and silver.

According to First Cobalt, a positive outcome from the study is expected to influence the ongoing evaluation of processing options for historical mine material throughout the Cobalt Camp using its mill and refinery.

Dundee is anticipated to complete the study by the end of the second quarter of this year.