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TSX-V-listed First Cobalt has closed its previously announced debt and equity financing, raising gross proceeds of $45-million that it intends to use for the expansion and recommissioning of its hydrometallurgical refinery, in Ontario.

“With the completion of this financing, the First Cobalt project team can now accelerate long lead equipment orders for our Canadian battery materials refinery as we pursue our vision of becoming the most sustainable producer of battery materials,” said president and CEO Trent Mell.

The company’s immediate objective is to become the only producer of battery grade cobalt in North America by the fourth quarter of 2022. Thereafter, it intends to produce nickel, cobalt, lithium and other battery materials from recycled lithium-ion batteries.

Longer term plans involve pursuing the creation of a Battery Park around its hydrometallurgical refinery, which would include nickel sulphate production from primary feeds and lithium-ion battery precursor manufacturing.

The financing consisted of a private placement offering to US investors of $37.5-million, principal amount of 6.95% senior secured convertible notes due December 1, 2026 and an overnight-marketed public offering of 38 150 000 common shares at C$0.25 each for C$9.5-million.

The notes are convertible into common shares at an initial conversion rate of 4 058.24 common shares per $1 000 principal amount of notes, subject to certain adjustments set forth in the indenture governing the notes.