First Cobalt joins Cobalt Institute to strengthen ESG practices

Canada-based mining firm First Cobalt Corp. (TSX-V: FCC; OTCQX: FTSSF)  has taken further steps to build up its environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) practices by joining the Cobalt Institute (CI) as an Associate Member.

Cobalt Institute is a global non-profit trade association that promotes the sustainable and responsible production and use of cobalt. Formerly known as the Cobalt Development Institute (CDI), it acts as a knowledge centre for governments, agencies, industry, the media and the public on all matters concerning cobalt and cobalt containing substances.

With this membership, First Cobalt says that it intends to qualify the First Cobalt Refinery in Canada under the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI). RMI is one of the most utilized and respected resources for companies from a range of industries addressing responsible mineral sourcing issues in their supply chains. A central tenet of the RMI is application of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

RMI is an initiative of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). It is an independent body that addresses responsible mineral sourcing issues in mining supply chains.

First Cobalt is in the initial stages of quantifying and benchmarking the expected carbon footprint of the First Cobalt Refinery. To assist with this work, the Company has obtained a grant of $50,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistant Program (NRC IRAP) to model its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and identify opportunities to reduce its carbon footprint throughout the refining process.

First Cobalt president and CEO Trent Mell said:

“Our strategic objective is to offer a premium supply of ethically-sourced cobalt by creating a closed supply chain. Over the next several years, Glencore intends to provide the feed for the First Cobalt Refinery from a single mining operation, with no other feed sources entering the downstream supply chain. This will give buyers of our refined cobalt comfort that conflict minerals are not being introduced into their consumer products.

Becoming a member of the Cobalt Institute demonstrates our commitment to implementing the most rigorous supply chain sourcing and ESG standards. The grant from Canada’s National Research Council will allow First Cobalt to accelerate our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and play an exemplary role in the industrial and automotive sectors.”

Last month, First Cobalt reported positive results from an independent feasibility study conducted on its permitted cobalt refinery.

Last August, Glencore provided a $5m loan facility to First Cobalt to help the Canadian firm to advance engineering, fieldwork, metallurgical testing and permitting associated with the expansion of the First Cobalt refinery.

In May 2019, First Cobalt and Glencore signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to finance First Cobalt’s refinery.

About First Cobalt
First Cobalt owns North America’s only permitted cobalt refinery. Cobalt refining is a critical component in the manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles, consumer electronics and industrial applications. Cobalt is a critical mineral and forms a foundational piece of the next generation of the North American auto sector. First Cobalt also owns an advanced cobalt project in the United States and controls significant mineral assets in the Canadian Cobalt Camp.