20/12/2021 - 15:09

Neometals commissions maiden battery recycling plant

20/12/2021 - 15:09

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After three years of R&D development, including bench and pilot trials, feasibility studies and engineering investigations, Neometals and its joint venture partner, engineering colossus SMS Group, have successfully commissioned its first commercial lithium-ion battery recycling plant in Hilchenbach, Germany with operations to start early next year. The plant will process up 10 tonnes per day of battery-grade metal sulphate chemicals safely recycled into new battery production.

Neometals commissions maiden battery recycling plant
Increases in battery demand will be a strong driver of lithium consumption in the future. Credit: File

Three years of R&D development, including bench and pilot trials, feasibility studies and engineering investigations has culminated in final commercialisation of Neometals’ joint venture lithium-ion battery recycling plant.

Neometals and its joint venture partner, mega German engineering firm, SMS Group, have successfully commissioned its first commercial lithium-ion battery recycling plant in in Hilchenbach, Germany with operations to start early next year. Once up and running the plant will see up to 10 tonnes per day of battery-grade metal sulphate chemicals safely recycled into new battery production.

The offspring joint venture company, Primobius GmbH, which is equally owned by Neometals and SMS Group, has now commissioned the commercial 10 tonnes per day shredding plant, enabling it to commence commercial operations in the first quarter of 2022, subject to board approvals.

Primobius’ strategy for the success of the plant is to secure market share by focussing on potential partners and customers with direct access to large volumes of production scrap and end-of-life feedstocks. The company says its flexible business model can deliver a multiple spoke and hub plant configuration, therefore recycling solutions at the scale, location and timing required.

While waiting on its Federal environmental emissions licence, the company is working on finalising commercial battery disposal agreements to ensure feed supply for the operation.

As foreshadowed by Neometals, the fast tracking of commercial activities is a direct response to the demands of the EV and cell manufacturers immediate demand for safe disposal services.

Neometals says the recycling plant can be expanded in scale and scope to include a sustainable hydrometallurgical refinery to recover and regenerate battery-grade metal sulphate chemicals for re-use in new battery production.

The newly commissioned shredding plant will generate revenues from the receipt of fees to dispose of the batteries and the sale of intermediate active materials -the so-called “Black Mass”.  

Primobius also expects its Class 3 engineering cost studies on its larger, 50 tonnes per day, shredding and hydrometallurgical refinery plants, will be completed by the end of January and June respectively.

Neometals’ Managing Director Chris Reed said: “Firstly, I’d like to congratulate SMS for delivering this showcase of German engineering, it heralds the entry of Primobius into the European battery supply chain. Our solutions for the safe disposal and sustainable recycling of lithium-ion batteries coupled with our flexible business models make Primobius a compelling value proposition for potential customers and a formidable competitor to the incumbent recyclers”.

Neometals’ share price has been rising steadily in 2021 from a low of $0.225 in January to its current price just over a dollar – more than 350 per cent for the year. The share price appreciation has, in part, been underpinned by the company’s innovative focus on recycling scrap lithium-ion batteries, which are hazardous waste and liberating the valuable constituent materials. There’ll be no shortage of Neo shareholders cheering on at the opening of the new plant next year and looking hopefully forward to an equally stellar 2022.

 

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

 

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