JV Company To Fund Commercial Operations
Neometals Ltd (ASX: NMT) has confirmed that the shareholders of Primobius GmbH, the joint venture ((JV) company owned 50:50 by Neometals and SMS group GmbH, have agreed to fund the fast-track commercialisation of commercial lithium-ion battery (LIB) recycling operations.
Primobius intends to expand the current demonstration plant (DP) in Hilchenbach Germany and build up operational capacity to provide a 10tpd battery disposal recycling service in Q1 2022. Shredder Plant 1 will generate early revenue from the sale of intermediate active materials and set a market reference for operational capability.
Primobius was founded to evaluate the commercialisation of the Neometals sustainable LIB recycling technology. The current showcase DP trials will provide data for the engineering and feasibility studies to develop a 50tpd (20,000tpa) integrated (Shredding and Hydrometallurgical Refining) German LIB recycling operation.
Substantial de-risking through the successful and safe commissioning of the DP Shredder circuit using live cells, together with current market demand for disposal shredding services, has prompted Primobius to accelerate its commercialisation strategy.
The short-term entry of Primobius into the European industrial recycling market is intended to establish and build market share and is consistent with Primobius’ strategy to be the sustainable recycler of choice for carmakers and cell-makers.
This 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. The opportunity to build and showcase operational capabilities will also further de-risk and enhance the business case for the larger proposed 50tpd 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 DP shredder circuit and to lease additional areas from SMS.
Neometals’ Managing Director, Chris Reed, said Primobius is in advanced commercial negotiations with third parties to secure both ‘feed’, via disposal service agreements, and for the sale of Black Mass, metal foils, steel and plastics produced from the 10tpd Shredder Plant.
While these commercial negotiations are advanced, there is no guarantee at this stage that any binding formal agreements will be entered into by Primobius. For the avoidance of doubt, the decision to fund the upgrading of processing capacity is independent of, and not conditional on the outcomes of the aforementioned negotiations.
“We are excited to herald the entry of Primobius into the commercial European battery recycling landscape,” Mr Reed said.
“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. 10tpd 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 50tpd 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.”
For further information please visit: http://www.neometals.com.au/