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Lithium Australia beefs up LG battery recycling partnership

Lithium Australia’s wholly owned subsidiary Envirostream has bolstered a partnership with an arm of consumer electronics dynamo LG to recycle over 250 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries. Under the agreement the company will deliver spent cells to the recycler’s facilities in Melbourne where the devices will be stripped, processed and treated before being repurposed into new energy storage solutions.

The agreement will cover an initial period that ends in August 2023 with the option of continuing on a rolling 6-month basis.

The duo initially inked a deal that allowed Envirostream to treat 85 tonnes of LG Energy Solutions, or “LGES”-sourced batteries back in 2018 however, they recently made the move to up the ante and significantly increase the minimum delivery amount.

Envirostream is currently able to repurpose over 90 per cent of a lithium-ion battery, disseminating the device into its key ingredients, namely steel, copper, aluminium and perhaps most importantly critical battery metals.

The metals are then fused in a cocktail termed “mixed metal dust” which finds new life in lithium-ion batteries’ anode and cathode powders.

The partnership’s newly announced ramp up follows an overall upward trajectory in Envirostream collection volumes.

In May this year the company amassed 90 tonnes, a month later 94 tonnes and in July 100 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries in its stockpile.

Management expects a significant increase next financial year in processing volumes as a direct result of the newly reinvigorated deal with LG.

Envirostream has already tied down collection deals with Bunnings and Officeworks and says a recent deal with the country’s largest battery retailer, Battery World could push collection rates even further.

LGES share our aspirations of an ethical and sustainable future for the global battery industry. Making these batteries available to Envirostream for recycling demonstrates LGES’s commitment to our shared vision. Envirostream have been recycling LGES batteries since 2018 and it is very pleasing to see LGES commit to Envirostream as its Australian battery recycling partner for these new volumes.

A recent study by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation suggests the country’s battery recycling space could be worth over $3 billion and given the surge in electric vehicles across Australia the number could continue to improve.

Current sales indicate Tesla Corporation’s Model 3 was the country’s fourth most purchased vehicle last month – climbing above the ever-popular Toyota Camry.

The battery recycling sector could also prove a viable antidote for climbing lithium demand with the process removing the need for miners to peg land, sniff out the battery metal and process the material up to the appropriate quality – a process which can take around ten years to complete.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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