Battery Recycling JV with German Industrials Giant
Neometals Ltd have announced a binding agreement to form a 50:50 incorporated Joint Venture (JV) with the German industrials giant SMS group, in order to commercialise Neometals’ proprietary lithium-ion battery-recycling technology. The technology has been developed by Neometals’ technical team in Perth and this announcement, following extensive due diligence by SMS group, is a strong endorsement of its commercial potential. After all, the privately-owned SMS group is one of the world’s leading suppliers of industrial plants and equipment, with turnover of approximately EUR3.0billion and over 14,000 employees.
The JV, called Primobius, will employ a patent-pending hydrometallurgical process to recover lithium, nickel, cobalt and other materials from lithium-ion batteries. Importantly, the recovered and refined materials will be in a form that can be re-used in the battery supply chain. We view this hydro-metallurgical process as environmentally-superior to the pyro-metallurgical processes currently employed to recycle lithium-ion batteries, and offers a sustainable materials-recovery strategy crucial for the electric vehicles industry.
The next steps for the JV will include the construction of a demonstration plant at one of SMS group’s facilities in Germany, with commissioning expected early next year. Results from the demonstration plant will feed into a formal feasibility study, with a final investment decision (FID) by JV partners expected in the March Q 2022.