Cobalt Blue Holdings Limited (ASX:COB) (FRA:COH) (OTCMKTS:CBBHF) has completed mining 2,300 t of ore for the Broken Hill Cobalt Project (BHCP) Demonstration Plant Program.

Comminution and concentrate circuits are commissioned with operations underway.

Transitioning to operations for remainder of plant aiming to produce Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) and cobalt sulphate.

Large scale (industry pre-qualification) test samples expected to be shipped from August.

Cobalt Blue's Chairman, Rob Biancardi said:

"24-hour operations will commence shortly across the entire Demonstration Plant. This reflects real progress by our technical team and will allow BHCP to ship large scale test samples during Q3, providing a strong backdrop to commercial discussions."

Demonstration Plant

COB has designed, built, and is now commissioning and operating a Demonstration Plant in Broken Hill. The plant is aiming to treat a minimum of 3,000 t of ore (up to 4,000 t) and produce circa 10 t of cobalt products (mixed hydroxide and/or cobalt sulphate).

During 2021 COB successfully built and operated a smaller scale Pilot Plant.

This facility has now been upgraded over the last six months to increase capacity and includes all processing unit operations to treat ore to produce MHP (typically 30% cobalt and 5% nickel), followed by refining to cobalt sulphate. The Demonstration Plant program forms a key basis for the Broken Hill Cobalt Project Definitive Feasibility Study.

Ore for the plant is being sourced from the Pyrite Hill deposit. A 60 m long underground portal was developed to access the ore-body. To date 2,300 t of ore has been extracted.

The ore has been stage crushed, followed by dry milling in a roller mill to a top size of ~ 1 mm. The fine ore is now being processed through the concentrator circuit. The concentrate circuit is comprised of rougher and cleaner gravity spirals, and a scavenger flotation cell. The target is to generate a minimum of 600 t of concentrate from 3,000 t of ore.

The pyrite concentrate will be treated using the COB patented flowsheet to recover cobalt and elemental sulphur. The flowsheet is shown in Figure 1. In addition to the milling and concentrator circuits, the Demonstration Plant contains:

- A kiln for thermal decomposition of pyrite into pyrrhotite and elemental sulphur
- An autoclave circuit for leaching pyrrhotite
- Iron removal circuit
- MHP circuit
- Refining circuit to produce cobalt sulphate (ion-exchange, solvent extraction, crystallisation)
- Onsite production of oxygen for the leach, and nitrogen for the kiln

The Demonstration Plant program is expected to operate in aggregate for 20 weeks on a 24/7 basis. The program will be split into campaigns, to allow for analysis and optimisation of the plant performance.

Samples of MHP and cobalt sulphate will be provided to prospective offtake parties. Early supply of samples will assist with qualification into the battery manufacturing chain, ahead of future commercial operations at the BHCP.

Samples of cobalt sulphate will also be provided to the Australian Future Batteries Industry CRC Precursor Pilot Plant. This plant was recently opened in Perth (11th July 2022). The Pilot Plant is a collaborative activity with 19 industry, research and Government participants.

COB looks forward to production of Australian NCM precursor using BHCP cobalt sulphate as a raw material input.

*To view tables and figures, please visit:

About Cobalt Blue Holdings Limited

Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd (ASX:COB) (FRA:COH) (OTCMKTS:CBBHF) is an exploration and project development company. Work programs advancing the Broken Hill Cobalt Project in New South Wales continue. Our ambitious goals are subject to funding availability. Cobalt is a strategic metal in strong demand for new generation batteries, particularly lithium-ion batteries now being widely used in clean energy systems.



Joe Kaderavek
Chief Executive Officer
P: (02) 8287 0660

Link: Demonstration Plant Transitioning to Operations

Related Companies

Cobalt Blue Holdings Limited

Related Industry Topics: