Black Powder – a recovered mixture of value cobalt, nickel and lithium compounds as well as shredded copper and aluminium foil which is suitable hydrometallurgy recovery and refining.

Neometals to commercialise lithium battery recycling

Neometals is one step closer to a commercial-scale lithium battery recycling plant after it executed a binding memorandum of understanding agreement with mammoth German engineering firm, SMS Group.

The companies will work jointly to assess the next phase of development test work on Neometals’ proprietary battery recycling technology.

The agreement will be funded and evaluated equally by Neometals and SMS and will see the development of a demonstration-scale lithium battery recycling plant.

Neometals and SMS are proposing to form a 50/50 JV following a positive due diligence study by SMS on Neometals’ pilot trial.

Neometals pilot study, which is nearing completion in Canada, effectively shreds lithium-ion batteries, removes the metal casings and plastics, leaving the raw materials for mineral processing and chemical extraction via hydrometallurgical techniques.                           

The demonstration plant will be capable of processing around two tonnes of raw battery materials per day and will run in conjunction with engineering cost studies that will evaluate operating and capital costs as well as the market for the end products.

If the demonstration plant is able to recover and process economic outputs to validate Neometals’ recent scoping study, the JV will mutually construct a commercial-scale lithium battery recycling plant in Germany and Austria.

Neometals prior scoping study revealed that a commercial-scale development could churn out $72m per year of pre-tax cash flows over an initial 10-year plant life. These cash flows require an optimal production rate of 50 tonnes per day of raw recycling feed of lithium-ion batteries.

Neometals Managing Director Chris Reed said:“SMS is a very well-respected name, particularly in Europe which is expected to be home to half the world’s battery megafactories outside of China.”

“Having a brand name partner with best in class expertise on large-scale design, operation and plant maintenance will provide confidence to our prospective feedstock supply partners, the cell and car makers who ultimately have the responsibility for end of-life recycling.”

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