In yet another move to boost its presence in Australia’s battery recycling space, Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) has agreed to increase its interest in leading battery recycler Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd from 74% to 90%.
Currently, Envirostream is the only Australian company capable of recycling all energy metals from spent lithium-ion batteries.
Envirostream collects, sorts, shreds and separates all components of spent batteries.
The company’s plant is IOS 14001-accredited and its technology can recover about 95% of the materials from spent batteries.
At the end of last month, Envirostream revealed it had generated its first mixed metal dust from its expanded 3,000 tonne per annum lithium-ion battery recycling plant.
The dust, which contains cobalt, nickel, lithium and carbon, is destined to South Korea-based SungEel which is one of the world’s largest battery recyclers.
SungEel will then refine the dust into chemicals for incorporation in new lithium-ion batteries.
In addition to nickel, lithium, cobalt and carbon, Envirostream also recovers scrap steel, copper and aluminium from the spent batteries and sales of these by-products are planned to begin shortly.
Commenting on the company’s expanded ownership of Envirostream, Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said the combined companies were “developing an environmentally responsible framework” for Australian battery consumers.
“We encourage all Australians to join with us to create sustainable battery use with minimal environmental impact.”
Mr Griffin added the battery industry needs to take ownership of the disposal consequences of lithium-ion batteries.
“Those batteries contain toxins that should never go to land fill.”
“Lithium Australia, as a supplier of battery manufacturing technology, recognises the stewardship role required to mitigate the adverse consequences of battery consumption,” Mr Griffin explained.
As part of Envirostream’s expansion process, the company plans to provide “every Australian” with access to drop-off points for spent batteries to prevent them being relegated to kerbside collections and landfill.
In early morning trade, Lithium Australia’s shares were steady at $0.035.