ERG and Thara MOU forge partnership for cobalt refinery
ERG is advancing plans on developing a cobalt sulphate refinery, to be supplied with cobalt hydroxide from its Metalkol facility in the DRC Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), has announced it is pursuing the development of a refinery to process cobalt hydroxide into cobalt sulphates, the primary form of supply for cobalt bearing electric vehicle batteries.
The move to vertically integrate the company’s cobalt business, aims to strengthen its position as a strategic supplier to the chemicals sector, particularly for batteries for electric vehicles.
ERG has identified the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a potential host jurisdiction for refinery and is partnering with Thara Future Investment Company (Thara), to jointly investigate and pursue the investment in the country.
Thara, an investment platform recently established by prominent Saudi investors, is focused on unlocking Vision 2030 opportunities, particularly on sectors where the Kingdom holds a distinct advantage. They aim to capitalise on the Kingdom’s substantial mineral wealth, and leverage value chains in sectors including: chemicals, waste management and future materials.
“ERG expects sustained market penetration of electric vehicles to drive a quadrupling of demand for NCM and NCA cobalt-bearing batteries through 2030,” said Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group. “ERG is leading industry efforts to ensure the sustainable, traceable cobalt sourcing into battery supply chains across the globe. Joining forces with Thara will accelerate our potential development of a cobalt sulphate refinery in the Kingdom.”
“I am thrilled about our collaboration as we embark on the development of this critical value chain in the Kingdom,” said Hisham Attar, Managing Partner of Thara. “This endeavour embodies our commitment towards innovation and sustainable growth, unlocking new opportunities that align seamlessly with our vision and purpose.”
The refinery will be supplied with cobalt hydroxide from ERG’s Metalkol facility the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a historic tailings reclamation and environmental restoration operation producing high quality copper cathode and cobalt in hydroxide.
“ERG holds vast cobalt resources in the DRC and is one of the largest suppliers of cobalt hydroxide globally. Being underpinned by supply from our upstream operations, the planned cobalt refinery project is considerably de-risked,” said Benedikt Sobotka.
Operations at Metalkol are in accordance with recognised responsible and sustainable practices as set out in the ERG Clean Cobalt & Copper Framework.