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Neometals to fast-track lithium-ion battery recycling

PERTH ( – ASX-listed Neometals and its joint venture (JV) partner SMS group GmbH have agreed to fast-track commercialisation of commercial lithium-ion battery (LIB) recycling operations.

The JV vehicle Primobius intends to expand the current demonstration plant in Hilchenbach, Germany and build up operational capacity to provide a 10 t/d battery disposal recycling service in the first quarter of 2022. The shredder plant will generate early revenue from the sale of intermediate active materials (black mass) and set a market reference for operational capability.

“We are excited to herald the entry of Primobius into the commercial European battery recycling landscape. The funding approval is an agile response by the JV shareholders to strong demand for the safe disposal of growing volumes of lithium-ion batteries arising from warranty returns and at end-of-life,” said Neometals MD Chris Reed.

“The 10 t/d shredding plant 1 represents the maximum commitment we can make to meet demand having regard to regulatory permitting timeline constraints. As well as being a showcase for potential customers and partners, the facility will provide a valuable training ground for the operations team and will support continuous process improvement ahead of the next scale-up to a 50 t/d operation.

“The scale and speed of the electrification of transport and renewable energy storage is phenomenal - the volumes and momentum of global investment funds available to support enablers of decarbonisation steel our resolve for Primobius to become the pre-eminent recycler in the western world.”

Reed said that the development to fast-track commercial shredding operations is a positive move to keep pace with a rapidly developing industry searching for immediate sustainable recycling solutions.

He noted that the opportunity to build and showcase operational capabilities will also further de-risk and enhance the business case for the larger proposed 50 t/d integrated plant 1. SMS and Neometals have approved funding to build a dedicated commercial and operational team, to procure and install new equipment, to modify the currently installed demonstration plant shredder circuit and to lease additional areas from SMS.