Ontario Investing in the Future of EV Batteries

$250,000 investment increases Ontario’s competitiveness in critical minerals development and EV batteries

February 23, 2022


TORONTO – The Ontario government is investing $250,000 to support the development of two new battery production lines at the Electra Battery Materials Corporation’s future Battery Materials Park near Cobalt. The new production lines would be the first of their kind in Ontario and play a key part in supplying the demand for critical minerals that support the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain in North America.

“Our government is building towards the release of Ontario’s first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy and we are proud to invest in innovative companies like Electra that are striving to meet soaring demand for critical minerals that sustain North America’s electric vehicle industry,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “This project will connect Ontario’s mineral wealth in the North with our manufacturing sector in the South, creating jobs and opportunities in communities across the province.”

The proposed Battery Materials Park facility could supply more than 1.5 million EVs and employ up to 250 people, becoming a key pillar of the EV battery supply chain for battery-grade nickel sulfate and precursor cathode active materials. The Battery Materials Park will also include battery recycling to meet new demand with a more sustainable source of materials.

“Ontario has what it takes to develop and build the car of the future through emerging technologies and advanced manufacturing processes,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Through our Driving Prosperity plan and this kind of investment, our government is staking Ontario’s claim to the emerging North American EV battery industry and positioning the province to leverage its critical mineral wealth.”

“We are delighted to partner with Ontario on this Battery Materials Park project. Ontario is home to North America’s only battery-grade cobalt refinery, an abundance of nickel and clean hydroelectric power. Together, we can leverage Electra’s existing footprint and the Government of Ontario’s ambitions to build a world-class battery supply chain in the province,” said Trent Mell, President and CEO, Electra Battery Materials Corporation. “The Ontario government has been our biggest champion and we are grateful for their support. This is a great example of a true win-win where the public and private sectors are coming together to create meaningful economic opportunity.”

On November 17, the government released Phase 2 of Driving Prosperity ― The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector. The next phase of the 10-year plan will help Ontario’s auto sector pivot to producing the automotive technologies of the future, including the next generation of EVs and the batteries those vehicles need. Phase 2 positions Ontario as a North American leader in developing and building the vehicle of the future through emerging technologies and advanced manufacturing processes.

Quick Facts

  • In December 2020, Canada and Ontario announced a $10 million investment to Electra Battery Materials Corporation (formerly First Cobalt Corporation) to establish North America’s first cobalt refinery in Northern Ontario.
  • Ontario is developing its first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy. Ontario’s vision for critical minerals includes generating investment, increasing our competitiveness in global markets and supporting the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable global economy.
  • Critical minerals play a major role in the future of low- and zero-emission vehicles and transportation. Battery materials and battery technology are important in the EVs market and the use of battery technology has increased dramatically and is expected to grow in the future.
  • The provincial government announced Driving Prosperity ― The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector in February 2019. The 10-year plan lay the foundation for the future of the province’s auto sector, its workers, and the families and communities it supports.