22/12/2021 - 11:31

Lithium Australia onto second battery recycling plant

22/12/2021 - 11:31

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Lithium Australia’s battery recycling venture took a critical step forward after its 90 per cent owned subsidiary Envirostream was given the all-clear to open a second battery recycling plant in Laverton, Victoria. According to the company, its latest work puts it ahead of demand for electric vehicles and energy-storage system battery dismantling.

Lithium Australia onto second battery recycling plant
Lithium Australia is set to open a second battery recycling plant in Laverton, Victoria. Credit: File

Lithium Australia’s battery recycling venture took a critical step forward after its 90 per cent owned subsidiary Envirostream Australia was given the all-clear to open a second battery recycling plant in Laverton, Victoria. According to the company, its latest work puts it ahead of demand for electric vehicles and energy-storage system battery dismantling.

Envirostream says the new site is significantly larger than its existing battery recycling plant in Victoria.

According to the company its new site is fully permitted to collect spent batteries and electronic waste. Envirostream will also use the facility to store, sort, shred and separate battery material, ultimately culminating in the sale of recycled battery products to a host of national and international customers.

The new acquisition expands Envirostream’s storage capacity by about 300 per cent and its sorting capacity by around 100 per cent.

The company says the new Laverton site is permitted to hold some 300 tonnes of batteries allowing for a significant ramp-up of recycling operations.  Envirostream’s timing looks to be on the money, with surging numbers of spent batteries anticipated as a result of the handheld-battery collection network being established as part of the national Battery Stewardship Scheme.

The scheme is an industry-led programme aimed at providing free battery recycling services to Australian consumers.

Envirostream says its installation of new equipment could push its spent-battery sorting capacities to 4,000 kilograms per day.

Lithium Australia Managing Director, Adrian Griffin:"The Company is pleased to announce this permit for the new Envirostream site at Laverton; it will service the battery recycling industry better by allowing safer handling and storage. Capturing larger volumes of spent lithium-ion batteries in particular helps the Company create a secure battery supply chain ... further underpinning the investment of Lithium Australia shareholders. With the Battery Stewardship Scheme commencing next month, the timing could not be better: permitting of the Laverton facility means the Company is well prepared for the expected increase in volumes of spent batteries available for recycling."

According to the CSIRO, Australia dishes out close to 3,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery waste per annum. Interestingly, the CSIRO says only 2 per cent of this material is recycled and has suggested the waste volume could surpass 100,000 tonnes by 2036.

The majority of Australia’s spent batteries are dispatched overseas where they are discarded at landfill sites. The process raises numerous ecological concerns including contamination of groundwater and potentially battery-induced fires.

Lithium Australia’s latest evolution with Envirostream, places the company in an enviable position in the developing Australian battery recycling market given Lithium Australia operates the country's only fully integrated mixed-battery recycling business. As the company accelerates its recycling capabilities ahead of the Battery Stewardship Scheme, it looks to be tantalisingly close to completing the loop on the energy metals cycle.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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