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At full capacity, Metalkol RTT will produce enough cobalt to power more than three million vehicles per year

ERG is considering the construction of a lithium-ion battery precursor plant, to be exclusively supplied with cobalt hydroxide from its Metalkol Roan Tailings Reclamation (RTR), a major tailing reprocessing facility in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Metalkol RTR is a historic tailings reclamation and environmental restoration facility producing high quality copper cathode and cobalt in hydroxide.

It is positioned to become one of the largest producers of cobalt globally upon completion of its Phase II expansion. At full capacity, it will produce 24 ktpa of cobalt – enough to power more than three million vehicles per year.

Vertical integration of ERG’s cobalt business aims to strengthen its position as a strategic supplier of traceable battery materials for the electric vehicle industry.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 4, 2020
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ERG is currently assessing the construction of a battery material plant to produce nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) precursor materials for electric vehicles (EVs).

The company is evaluating technical solutions offered by international engineering firms BGRIMM Technology Group from China and Outotec from Finland, which will allow for the production of both NCM 6:2:2 and NCM 8:1:1 precursors depending on market conditions.

ERG is planning to develop the plant in two phases. The first phase is expected to produce 90 000 tonnes of NCM annually following a two-year construction period. The expansion will be defined depending on market conditions.

Building a green economy

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, states:

“Our vision for a green economy is at the core of our continued commitment to supply the most critical materials for the global battery sector and we are leading industry efforts to ensure the sustainable, traceable cobalt sourcing in supply chains across Europe, North America, South Korea and Japan. Together with our partners we are currently considering multiple locations for the development of the precursor plant.”

The precursor plant will be exclusively supplied with cobalt hydroxide from Metalkol RTR in the, whose operations are in accordance with recognised responsible and sustainable practices as set out in the ERG Clean Cobalt Framework.

For the precursor plant ERG plans to source nickel sulphate from third parties or produce it itself using nickel raw materials Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) or Mixed Sulphide Precipitate (MSP).

“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 landmark report by the Global Battery Alliance, a public-private collaboration platform of about 70 international organisations, where ERG is a founding member,” concludes Sobotka.