Electra Battery Materials Corporation Announces Recycled Battery Material Removal Agreement

Under the agreement, Glencore AG will purchase nickel and cobalt products until the end of 2024 on market-based terms

Electra Battery Materials Corporation (TSX-V:ELBM, OTCQX:ELBMF) has announced an off-take agreement for nickel and cobalt produced from a battery recycling plant it plans to commission in 2023 in its Battery Materials Park north of Toronto.

Under the agreement, the company said Glencore AG will purchase nickel and cobalt products until the end of 2024 on market terms.

“The demand for recycled battery materials is very strong, but refining capacity in North America today is limited to process black mass with a hydrometallurgical process – the preferred route due to high metal recoveries and carbon emissions. GHGs close to zero,” said Electra CEO Trent Mell. in a report.

“Electra expects to be one of the first such refiners, leveraging its licensed site north of Toronto and approximately C$100 million of existing infrastructure and equipment.

READ: Electra Battery Materials to Consolidate Outstanding Common Stock Prior to Possible Nasdaq Listing

Mell added, “This is another step in de-risking Electra’s Battery Materials Park project. By securing a drawdown for our recycled nickel and cobalt production at market rates, we can now continue to focus on construction and operational readiness for Phases 1 and 2.”

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • The removal contract covers the 2023-2024 production of nickel and cobalt from the refining of black mass charge generated from lithium-ion batteries. Lithium, copper and graphite removal contracts are being discussed with other parties.
  • Electra plans to operate a battery recycling demonstration plant in 2022 using existing equipment at a cost of C$3 million and commission the commercial plant in 2023.
  • The company’s hydrometallurgical refinery is expected to deliver higher yields at lower cost and at significantly lower energy intensity compared to traditional facilities.
  • Its refinery is powered by 100% clean hydroelectric power, resulting in nearly zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Electra noted that its battery recycling strategy is the second in a four-phase development plan for an integrated battery materials park in Canada that will recycle lithium batteries, produce cobalt and nickel from primary power supplies. , then send the material to a manufacturer of battery cathode precursors. who would cohabit in the same industrial park. The commissioning of the only cobalt sulfate refinery in North America is the first phase, scheduled for December 2022.

Electra’s strategy is to partner with third parties who collect used batteries and grind the battery cell electrodes into a metal-rich powder known as “black mass”. Electra has established relationships with more than 30 black mass producers and plans to work with up to four suppliers to supply its refinery.

The company said the first recycling module (Module 1) is expected to produce more than 2,000 metric tons per year of mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) from approximately 4,500 tons of black mass – the equivalent of recycling batteries of more than 20,000 fully electric vehicles. (EV) per year, i.e. 80,000 plug-in hybrid EVs. Module 1 is one of many expected to be built over the next decade as Electra’s recycling capacity grows along with market demand for dark mass processing.

Electra’s long-term goal is to introduce the cobalt and nickel content of MHP into its own cobalt and nickel sulphate circuits. Glencore’s Nikkelverk refinery in Norway represents a short-term, low-carbon solution for a circular economy until Electra completes Phase 3 construction of a nickel sulphate plant.

The company said its business relationship with Glencore is a fundamental step that could lead to further collaboration in the North American recycling market. Glencore is already one of the largest processors of dark ground, processing much of the dark ground produced in North America and Europe at its Sudbury smelter.

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