Fortune Minerals has secured a $6.3m (£8.59m) grant from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to enhance cobalt production capabilities in North America.

The funding, part of the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III programme, is aimed at advancing the NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper project in Canada towards construction.

The NICO Project, a critical minerals asset, includes a proposed mine and processing facilities in the Northwest Territories and Alberta.

It is expected to produce an average of 1,800 tonnes (t) of cobalt, 47,000oz of gold, 1,700t of bismuth and 300t of copper annually.

This development will establish the NICO Project as a reliable North American source of cobalt sulphate for the burgeoning lithium-ion battery industry.

The DoD grant will support metallurgical testing, secure necessary authorisations and update feasibility studies for the project.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Fortune Minerals plans to use the grant to complete key tasks including optimising the hydrometallurgical processes at the Alberta Refinery site.

Funds will also aid in obtaining permits for the construction and operation of both the NICO mine and the refinery. An updated feasibility study will assess the project’s economics, incorporating recent optimisations and the new refinery site.

The company’s goal is to provide vertically integrated production facilities in North America, producing cobalt, bismuth and copper, with over one million ounces of gold as a co-product.

Cobalt sulphate from the NICO Project will also support US electric vehicle manufacturers in qualifying for tax credits under the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Furthermore, Fortune is working with Rio Tinto to potentially process materials from the Kennecott smelter at the Alberta Refinery.

This collaboration is part of the US-Canada Critical Minerals Supply initiative and could increase cobalt and bismuth production.

Additionally, Lomiko Metals has received $8.35m from the US DoD and C$4.9m from Natural Resources Canada for the La Loutre natural flake graphite project in Quebec.

The investment marks a significant investment in North American natural flake graphite production. The grant from the US DoD was granted via a technology investment agreement.