31/12/2021 - 11:26

Neometals enters North American battery recycling market

31/12/2021 - 11:26

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ASX-listed Neometals is on course to enter the sizzling electric vehicle, or “EV” battery recycling market in North America after its joint venture company, Primobius GmbH rubber stamped an agreement to commercialise its recycling technology with Canadian steelmaking juggernaut Stelco Holdings. According to Neometals, the region is the fastest growing sector for lithium battery production.

Neometals enters North American battery recycling market
Neometals is on track to commercialise its recycling technology in North America. Credit: File

ASX-listed Neometals is on course to enter the sizzling electric vehicle, or “EV” battery recycling market in North America after its joint venture company, Primobius GmbH rubber stamped an agreement to commercialise its recycling technology with Canadian steelmaking juggernaut Stelco Holdings. According to Neometals, the region is the fastest growing sector for lithium battery production.

Primobius GmbH is a joint venture between Neometals and leading German engineering outfit, SMS Group with the duo holding equal ownership rights of the offspring joint venture company, Primobius GmbH.

Under the terms of the agreement signed between Primobius GmbH and the C$3 billion Canadian steelmaking giant, Stelco, will look to secure large volumes of end-of-life vehicles to source scrap steel feedstocks via a Special Purpose Vehicle, or “SPV”. It will also recycle lithium-ion batteries in a planned 50 tonne per day, or “tpd” operation at its Lake Erie Works Hydrometallurgical refinery in Ontario, Canada.

According to Neometals, Primobius will license the Stelco battery recycling SPV and under a separate agreement can elect to pick up between 25 to 50 per cent equity in the SPV by contributing its pro-rata share of sunk development and evaluation costs.

Neometals says the agreement will allow its newly formed team to play to its strengths, with Stelco focusing on its feedstock and approval work and Primobius getting into the weeds with demonstration trials, engineering studies and its commercial disposal operation in Hilchenbach, Germany.

It was only about a week ago when Primobius commissioned its German shredding plant that will see the company shred about 10tpd of lithium-ion batteries. The plant is set to kick-off its commercial operations early next year. The company says it will seek out customers and partners with direct access to significant volumes of production scrap and end-of-life feedstocks.

Neometal’s latest play looks to be strategically honed towards meeting the battery recycling demands and safe disposal services of the growing EV industry, which according to Deloitte, is projected to grow at an annual compound growth rate of 29 per cent over the next ten years.

Neometals’ Managing Director Chris Reed said:Neometals is understandably excited by the speed of commercial progress being made by Primobius. We recognise both the need to partner to secure access to large volumes of end-of-life LIB’s to ensure future growth and the present need to recycle significantly growing volumes of production scrap from LIB cell production in the US. Stelco is a leading supplier of steel to the Automotive OEMs and consumes scrap as part of its steel manufacturing process and presents the perfect opportunity for Primobius to enter the North American market as partners.

As global interest in cleaner energy solutions and electric vehicles continues to rise, the recycling of lithium-ion batteries is increasingly becoming a crucial consideration for manufacturers. If Neometals’ efforts to commercialise its battery recycling plant in North America can deliver the goods, the Perth-based outfit could soon find itself a key player in the rapidly growing industry.

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

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