Plans for Idaho Cobalt Mine Scrapped for Now
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A proposed Idaho cobalt mine with government approval and support from environmental groups has nixed its project, for now, because it says the price of the metal is too low and risk-averse financiers want too much to lend it money.
Chief Executive Officer Mari-Ann Green of Formation Metals Inc. says the company aims to be ready when cobalt prices rebound and investors return. In the meantime, however, her Vancouver, Canada-based company is in retrenchment mode, slashing jobs and salaries and focusing on boosting its separate business at its precious metals refinery near Kellogg in northern Idaho's Silver Valley.
Formation had aimed to construct the U.S.'s largest cobalt mine in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, to unearth the strategic metal that's used in jet engines, hybrid vehicle batteries, prosthetic knees and hips.