Doe Run in $7m deal to build US cobalt and nickel demo plant

Doe Run in $7m deal to build US cobalt and nickel demo plant

Doe Run in $7m deal to build US cobalt and nickel demo plant 740 600 Batteries International

March 21, 2024: US lead miner and recycler the Doe Run Company has been awarded a $7 million federal contract to build and commission a demonstration plant for the production of cobalt and nickel critical to the nation’s battery manufacturing sector.

Under the Doe Run Technology Investment Agreement with the Department of Defense, announced on March 18, the plant will be built at the company’s technology center in Missouri to show it can extract cobalt and nickel from its existing mining operations.

The agreement comes just six months after Doe Run president and CEO Matthew Wohl (pictured) called for greater government support to boost domestic mineral production to meet clean energy goals.

On the new contract, Wohl said: “We have shown at pilot-scale that our proprietary technology can remove a variety of minerals from virtually any feed source.

“These sources include the products we currently sell, as well as material left behind by historic mining and smelting processes.”

A full-scale commercial hydrometallurgical plant is likely to be established at one of Doe Run’s existing mills in Missouri once the technology has been demonstrated, Wohl said.

Cobalt and nickel have been designated as essential for national security and advanced battery energy storage by the US government.

The US currently imports 76% of its demand for cobalt, and 56% of nickel.

Last September, analysis published by Doe Run said the lead battery industry was worth $2.3 billion annually to the US state of Missouri.

The report said the firm itself contributes $715 million of that sum.