Defense Dept. Awards $7 Million to Enhance Domestic Nickel and Cobalt Supply

The Department of Defense announced an award of $7 million to The Doe Run Resources Corporation (Doe Run) via the Defense Production Act Investment (DPAI) Program to complete a demonstration-scale hydrometallurgical plant for separation of cobalt and nickel at their facility in Viburnum, MO. This effort supports the 2024 National Defense Industrial Strategy to continue and expand support for domestic production to increase supply chain resilience.

“This award is another important step towards decreasing reliance on unstable sources of cobalt and nickel, and ensuring a sustainable industrial base capable of meeting current and future demand,” said Dr. Laura Taylor-Kale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy (ASD(IBP)).

By helping to retrieve minerals from Missouri resources, these Defense Production Act funds will enable Doe Run to test, demonstrate, and scale up their hydrometallurgical nickel and cobalt extraction process. This will lead to a sustainable domestic processing facility capable of producing commercial-scale levels of cobalt and nickel, which are used in a number of DoD systems.

This is the latest of 12 awards made by the DPAI program across multiple areas totaling $307 million since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2024.  DPAI is overseen by the ASD(IBP)’s Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization (MCEIP) directorate, in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Resilience.