Umicore plans to acquire Freeport Cobalt’s cobalt refining and cathode precursor activities in Kokkola, Finland, for US$190 million.

The cobalt fine powders, chemicals, catalysts, ceramics and pigments activities located on the same site are not being acquired, and will continue to be run by Freeport Cobalt.

‘With R&D, refining, precursor production, cathode materials production and battery recycling operations located in Europe, Umicore will be ideally placed to serve the European operations of its battery cell and automotive customers with a fully integrated, sustainable and local battery materials supply chain,’ the company said in a press release. ‘Through this European battery materials supply chain, Umicore will contribute significantly to the European Union’s plans to create a competitive and sustainable battery ecosystem in Europe.’

The Kokkola refinery is Europe’s largest cobalt refinery and has 250 employees. The acquired operations will supply precursors for the cathode materials production in Nysa, Poland, which is due to start in the second part of 2020.

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.