As the world continues advancing clean energy solutions which is likely to see an abundance of lithium-ion batteries produced over the coming years, energy storage company Neometals (ASX: NMT) has launched a joint venture with German metallurgy company SMS Group to commercialise a battery recycling business in Europe.
The 50:50 joint venture, called Primobius GmbH, will commercialise Neometals’ lithium-ion recycling technology which recovers lithium, nickel, cobalt and other leftover materials from used batteries. The recovered materials can then be refined for re-use in the battery supply chain.
“We have a clear path to commercialise this Australian technology, developed by our technical team in Perth, to meet the needs of the burgeoning European lithium battery and EV makers,” said Neometals Managing Director, Chris Reed.
“The entry of Primobius comes at a time marked by major confluence of regulatory initiatives to stimulate the electric vehicle sector to decarbonise transportation, secure battery material supply chains and support circular economies generally”.
“Our recycling solution plays strongly to this theme by offering responsible recovery and ethical battery material supply. It also lowers the carbon footprint of battery manufacturing and contribute broadly to the sustainability of the lithium battery materials supply chain”.
The launch of Primobius follows a detailed round of pilot program trials undertaken by the partners after signing a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2019 aimed at testing scale-up activities. With the program successful, Primobius will now commence construction of a Demonstration Plant at a SMS Group facility in Germany to conduct further feasibility research around financing and offtake partners.
The co-funded Demonstration Plant is expected to cost €3.5 million and be completed by December 2020. Trials will then be undertaken for three months to collect data for the feasibility study with initial plans to commence commercial operations by 2023.
Primobius will advance alongside Neometals’ other sustainable energy projects which include their lithium refinery project in India and vanadium recovery project in Western Australia. The company is positioned very well for these projects with $81.3m cash as of 30 June 2020.
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