- Neometals (NMT) has successfully completed pilot plant testing on its lithium‐ion battery recycling technology
- Testing began in February 2019 and is aimed at sustainably producing battery-grade lithium
- The company is pleased it has been able to purify nickel and cobalt into cathode and anode materials, with only minor impurities
- Next steps include formalising a joint venture agreement with German-based SMS Group
- Together, the companies will fund and develop lithium plants in Europe to eventually supply to off-takers
- Neometals is up 10.3 per cent and shares are trading for 16 cents each
Neometals (NMT) has completed pilot plant testing on its lithium‐ion battery recycling technology.
The company has developed a sustainable process for recycling and repurposing nickel, cobalt and other valuable materials from scrapped lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).
The pilot commenced in February 2019 and was conducted by SGS Canada. The testing forms part of the development activities for a proposed commercial lithium-ion battery recycling joint venture.
In January 2020, Neometals and German-based SMS Group signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly fund and develop Neometals’ recycling technology for lithium batteries.
During this trial, Neometals successfully processed 2.3 tonnes of spent commercial LIBs during the Feed Preparation stage of the program.
A total of 980 kilograms of shredded and upgraded cathode and anode material, dubbed “Black Powder” were fed into the following Hydrometallurgical Processing stage. It was in this stage that the cathode materials were recovered and refined into high‐purity chemical products.
“We have now proven that we have a solution to meet the lithium‐ion battery supply chains need for a safe, environmentally friendly recycling process which can reduce reliance on imported mineral feedstocks and satisfy increasing regulatory and stakeholder demands for sustainable and ethical raw material supply chains,” Managing Director Chris Reed said.
In the final phase of the pilot, lithium was successfully recovered, leaving only minor impurities, while the previously recovered cobalt and nickel sulphate solutions were successfully purified and crystallised to produce cathodes.
Neometals now has the data to begin feasibility‐level studies and demonstration trials in Europe. Additionally, the pilot program has de-risked the company’s proprietary process, which allows it to advance feed supply and offtake activities.
Now that the testing has been complete, Neometals and SMS Group are working to finalise the formal legal agreements for their joint venture as well as the design for commercial demonstration plants at SMS’ sites in Germany and Austria.
Neometals is up 10.3 per cent and shares are trading for 16 cents each at 3:47 pm AEDT.