Together for a cleaner future

The Cobalt Blue difference

The Broken Hill Cobalt Project will use modern technologies and operate within Australian workplace and environmental requirements. We will supply cobalt compounds without employing the unethical and unsustainable conditions or the poor environmental practices typical of third world extraction.

That’s why our Broken Hill Cobalt Project has taken on such global importance.

Our market-ready cobalt product will be produced at a globally competitive price. This makes Cobalt Blue one of a handful of companies in the world able to produce battery-grade cobalt that is both affordable and ethical.

Smaller footprint, less impact

While the Broken Hill Cobalt Project will be one of the largest cobalt producers (ex-Africa) globally, its environmental impact will be relatively small. When it gets into full production, it will produce around ~4,000 tonnes of battery-grade cobalt annually. Yet, we will be mining a large, deep sulphide ore body. This means the mine’s footprint will be small. A comparable laterite mine would cover over 50 times the surface area.

Beyond the mine itself, the Broken Hill Cobalt Project’s process is generally benign and energy-efficient. We separate 80% of the waste from the ore at the first step of processing. Our refinery is therefore 1/5th the size of the mine. The refined waste and waste rock from mining will be emplaced into an Integrated Waste Landforms (IWLs) and not a tailings dam. IWLs are recognised as best practice for mine waste management.

Our electrical energy will be sourced from the National Electricity Market, which is increasing its proportion of renewables. Cobalt Blue is exploring options to connect to nearby renewable generators directly and have our own battery storage facility.

Look after the people

And the people will look after us.

We aim to develop and retain a residential workforce as part of our commitment to Broken Hill.

To achieve this, we are thinking in advance about legacy projects that will assist in attracting and retaining a population of workers and their families.

Already we have started working with other mining companies and local community leaders on strategic projects involving housing, childcare, and other liveability solutions.

We are also collaborating to develop pathways towards higher education, skills, and training to enable today’s youth to be job-ready tomorrow.

We look forward to further developing respectful relationships with local Aboriginal people – the Barkandji – to work in consultation, foster economic enhancement opportunities, and celebrate their rich cultural heritage.

Our workforce is our greatest asset. Therefore, we believe empowering our employees and supporting the communities where they live and work is a critical part of our operation.

As our business enjoys success, so will everyone connected to us: our staff, suppliers, their families, and community.

Passing the acid test

Most metallic mines around the world consume large amounts of sulphuric acid as a necessary part of their process. Most, but not ours.

A comparable nickel laterite mine, for example, would consume over 1 million tonnes of sulphuric acid. Once spent, the residue of this acid would be released into tailings or a waste facility.

The Broken Hill Cobalt Project will consume less than 1% of that amount of acid, which would be entirely consumed in the process, with zero residue.

Energy Prosumers vs. Energy Consumers

The rise of energy prosumers is having a transformative impact on the energy market, and they are proving that energy consumption is now a 2-way street.

With the emergence of batteries and smarter technologies, consumers can now make more informed choices about energy usage and become energy producers and storers themselves. Known as ‘prosumers’, they produce a 2-way directional flow of power, feeding energy back into the grid.

Assisted by the growth in solar photovoltaic panels, smart meters, vehicle-to-grid electric vehicles, home batteries, and other ‘smart’ devices, prosumers can re-evaluate their energy practices and contribute to a greener world.

An ethical model for the world

Sadly, the Broken Hill Cobalt Project is unique. Sadly, because as our dependence on digital and electronic products grows, so does our demand for unethical cobalt.

However, as our world inevitably switches to renewable energy, we also want it to switch to ethical cobalt in batteries.

The Broken Hill Cobalt Project is proving it can be done. Broken Hill, a mining city of fewer than 20,000 people in remote and regional Australia, is showing the entire world the model of how it can be achieved.