Umicore says that it plans to move its cobalt refining activities currently taking place in its plant in Olen, Belgium to its recently acquired Kokkola refinery in Finland. The transfer of the activities is anticipated to be finalized by mid-2023 and will entail a reduction of 165 positions in Olen ‘through natural attrition’, Umicore said.

According to the company, its Cobalt & Specialty Materials business has been facing increasing competition in several of its end markets and more recently in its cobalt refining activities due to the emergence of large-scale cobalt refineries. 

In the US, the business unit will discontinue operations in Arab, Alabama, and consolidate activities in the plant in Nashville, Tennessee. The closing of the Arab plant will impact 42 positions, Umicore said.

This story uses material from Umicore, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.