Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) subsidiary Envirostream Australia has confirmed it will begin recycling end-of-life (EOL) battery packs from six different types of electric vehicles (EV) within weeks.
The company has spent the past 24 months conducting recycling trials on various EV battery packs at its commercial mixed-battery recycling facility in Melbourne.
The enclosed facility is currently the only one of its kind in Australia capable of shredding up to 3,000 tonnes per year of used batteries to recover a range of recyclable materials – in particular high-value mixed-metal dust, which comprises critical active materials in spent lithium-ion batteries.
Mixed-metal dust contains cobalt, nickel, lithium and manganese, making it a sustainable feed source in the manufacture of cathode materials for new batteries.
Envirostream’s recycling trials aimed to document the complete process of EV battery recycling from transport, handling and discharge through to disassembly and materials recovery.
The final report – which included details of safety procedures, transport, and environmental assessments – illustrated that Envirostream can process EOL battery packs safely, effectively, cost-efficiently and sustainably.
This means the company can provide a sound and environmentally-aware solution to battery disposal, making it a first mover in the EOL EV battery recycling game in Australia.
Envirostream also announced it has signed non-exclusive recycling agreements with two battery suppliers, under which it will be primarily responsible for transporting batteries from various locations in Australia and Brunei to its recycling facility.
Other responsibilities will include the protection of intellectual property, the discharge of any residual battery energy and pack disassembly and recycling.
Both agreements have an indefinite term and are not considered material due to the low volumes and lack of significant costs being borne by Envirostream.
“Neither supplier is expected to rank in [our] top 10 list of battery suppliers by volume this financial year,” the company said.
“The significance of these agreements is that Envirostream becomes a first mover in the recycling of EOL EV batteries in Australia.”