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Blackfoot to host cobalt refining facility

Vancouver, British Columbia based eCobalt has announced plans to proceed with development of a cobalt mining operation based in Salmon.

Part of the operation will include a hydrometallurgical refining facility to be built on a railhead in Blackfoot.

Mayor Paul Loomis said that operation could provide between 60 to 90 full-time, well-paying jobs. A site on Pioneer Road, just outside city limits in Bingham County, was identified for that work. Loomis said Blackfoot is “thrilled’ with the announcement.

Key to the Blackfoot project will be a new railroad spur.

The company plans to bring in an existing, pre-purchased building until a final facility is built. That construction work could begin early next year.

According to a company feasibility study, the eCobalt mine will produce a cobalt/copper/gold concentrate then processes to produce cobalt sulfate heptahydrate, which is used in the production of cathodes for rechargeable batteries.

The study indicates the company has already invested over $65.3 million for earthworks, engineering, and milling equipment in Salmon. The total capital and reclamation cost is estimated at $288.1 million.

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