05/03/2021 - 14:42

Neometals JV signs Japanese giant for battery recycling trial

05/03/2021 - 14:42


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Neometals’ 50 per cent-owned joint venture company, Primobius has clinched a memorandum of understanding with Itochu Corporation that will see the Japanese giant weigh up the recycling potential of Primobius’ proprietary lithium-ion battery material processing technology.

ASX-listed Neometals’ 50 per cent-owned joint venture company, Primobius has clinched a memorandum of understanding with Itochu Corporation.

Perth-based Neometals says the milestone agreement opens the way for Itochu to run the ruler over Primobius’ lithium-ion battery recycling capabilities. It also provides a platform for the parties to explore possible commercial arrangements relating to Primobius’ recycling of Itochu’s end-of-life batteries.

Under the terms of the new non-binding memorandum of understanding, Neometals says Itochu has agreed to supply stationary energy storage lithium-ion batteries for processing through Primobius’ demonstration plant.

Primobius has already kicked off preparations for the demonstration plant trial campaign that will be dedicated to Itochu’s battery feed.

The equal joint venture between Neometals and the Germany-headquartered SMS Group is looking to produce recycled products from the demonstration plant for Itochu to evaluate and for cathode makers in Itochu’s supply chain to also analyse the same.

According to Neometals, the demonstration plant at SMS’s manufacturing facility in the German town of Hilchenbach should be up and running in the June quarter this year.

Neometals Managing Director, Chris Reed said: Neometals remains highly encouraged by the fast commercial progress being made by Primobius. Itochu has a global footprint, over 100,000 staff and holds multiple positions along the battery value chain, from raw materials, battery manufacturing equipment to complete stationary energy storage systems for residential and commercial applications. This is a significant milestone for Primobius as we build our pipeline of potential critical feedstocks for future commercial operations.”

The company says the demonstration plant trial campaign planned to process Itochu stationary energy storage batteries is set to follow Primobius’ maiden campaign treating electric vehicle batteries.

The demonstration-scale plant has been designed to serve as a showcase for potential customers such as carmakers and consumer electronics and battery manufacturers. They will be able to use it to appraise how well Primobius’ recycling process can recover reusable cathode raw materials for the production of new batteries from end-of-life and or hazardous lithium-ion batteries.

Key payable outputs to be produced by the demonstration plant will be nickel and cobalt sulphate, according to Primobius.


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