Neometals (ASX:NMT) - Managing Director & CEO, Chris Reed
Managing Director & CEO, Chris Reed
Source: Neometals
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  • Neometals’ (NMT) 50 per cent-owned joint venture company, Primobius, has secured binding option and licencing agreements with Canadian steelmaker, Stelco
  • The companies are aiming to establish a lithium-ion battery (LiB) operation in North America to recycle LIBs removed from end-of-life electric vehicle batteries
  • Primobius will licence a Stelco battery recycling special purpose vehicle and hold an option to acquire between 25 and 50 per cent of it
  • Stelco plans to secure large volumes of end-of-life vehicles to source scrap steel feedstocks and recycle LiBs in an integrated operation at its Lake Erie Works in Canada
  • Company shares were up 11.6 per cent to $1.35 at 10:43 am AEDT

Neometals’ (NMT) 50 per cent-owned company, Primobius GmbH, has secured binding option and licencing agreements with Stelco and one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Stelco and Primobius, of which the other 50 per cent is held by SMS group GmbH, entered a memorandum of understanding earlier in the year to assess future potential joint lithium-ion battery (LiB) recycling operations to manage large anticipated volumes from end-of-life electric vehicle batteries.

The companies have since been working towards establishing a plan for a North America-based LiB recycling operation with the newest agreements reflecting that.

The deals will see Stelco’s battery recycling special purpose vehicle (Stelco SPV), responsible for battery recycling, evaluate 50 tonnes per day (tpd), or 18,250 tonnes per annum, integrated shredding and hydrometallurgical refinery located in Ontario, Canada.

Primobius is reportedly able to supply a network of 50tpd shredding plants across Canada, the US and Mexico to feed a larger scale, centralised refining hub when required.

Primobius has already exclusively licenced its own battery recycling technology to Stelco SPV to enable it to advance commercial LiB feedstock sourcing agreements and advance the approvals process.

Under the option agreement, Primobius can choose to acquire between 25 and 50 per cent of Stelco SPV by contributing its pro-rata share of Stelco SPV’s sunk evaluation and development costs prior to exercising the option.

If it doesn’t exercise the option, Stelco will have the exclusive rights to utilise the recycling technology in North America to recycle LIBs removed from end-of-life electric vehicles. Primobius will be entitled to a gross revenue royalty.

According to Neometals, the binding agreements with Stelco mark a significant milestone for Primobius and support its strategy to become a leading LiB recycler by establishing a second operating base in North America.

NMT Managing Director Chris Reed commented on the importance of the agreements.

“Neometals is understandably excited by the speed of commercial progress being made by Primobius,” he said.

“We recognise both the need to partner to secure access to large volumes of end-of-life LIB’s to ensure future growth and the present need to recycle significantly growing volumes of production scrap from LIB cell production in the US.”

Stelco Executive Chairman and CEO Alan Kestenbaum said Stelco is ‘thrilled’ to partner with Primobius.

“Stelco has reached an agreement that will enable it to uniquely create a closed loop system of auto recycling and provision of green steel and battery metals back to its OEM customers,” he said.

“With this novel approach, Stelco is uniquely positioned to provide the highest quality automotive steels available in North America as well as a greater value proposition to its customers.”

Company shares were up 11.6 per cent to $1.35 at 10:43 am AEDT.

NMT by the numbers
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