As lithium prices continue to soar, gaining a whopping 450% for the year after reaching up to $US63,900 in February– Perth-based Neometals (ASX:NMT) has confirmed plans to partner with Mercedes-Benz subsidiary LICULAR GmbH for the design and construction of a battery recycling plant in southern Germany.

Neometals’ 50:50 joint venture with SMS group SMBH – Primobius GmbH – plans to cooperate with LICULAR to build a two stage 2,500 tonne a year lithium-ion battery recycling and waste disposal plant as its chosen tech partner, with first stage commencing production in 2023.

Mercedes said the recovered material will be fed back into the recycling loop to produce more than 50,000 battery modules for the new Mercedes-EQ models.

Based on the findings of the pilot plant, production volumes could be scaled up in the medium to long term.

NMT shares  jumped 17.69% in early trade.


Strategy for recycling automotive battery systems

NMT managing director Chris Reed said the company is excited to assist Mercedes in its goal to re-use recovered materials and develop a holistic and sustainable recycling approach for lithium-ion batteries.

“Lithium battery recycling supports conservation of resources, decarbonisation and supply chain resilience,” he said.

“All of our discussions to date have been very positive and we look forward to continuing our negotiations and entering into binding legal agreements in the near future.”

Tech increases recycling rate to more than 96pc

Mercedes production and supply chain management chief Jörg Burzer said the new recycling plant not only marks its commitment to a ‘circular economy’ for all materials used but highlights a globalised strategy through targeted collaborations with partners in China and the US.

“We are increasing the recycling rate to more than 96 percent while expanding our own expertise in the area of battery value creation,” he said.

“Through targeted collaborative ventures with high-tech partners in China and the US, we are globalising our battery recycling strategy and taking a decisive step toward closing the recycling loop in e-mobility” he said.


Formal agreements to be signed

The formal agreements relating to the cooperation agreement are expected to be signed between Primobius and LICULAR following negotiations under an earlier informal non-binding memorandum of understanding between the parties.

Neometals says it is pleased with how the discussions are progressing and notes that Mercedes-Benz has publicly made its intentions known in advance of the parties executing binding legal agreements.


Pure Hydrogen pursues turquoise hydrogen

Australian east coast clean energy company, Pure Hydrogen (ASX: PH2)  is proceeding with its plans to manufacture
turquoise hydrogen through the signing of a binding collaboration and licence term sheet with French tech company Plenesys to commercialise the Plenesys HyPlasma process.

The collaboration will kick off with a pilot plant (demonstration plant) in Brisbane, planned for commissioning within the next 12 months, followed by full commercial scale modules in our exclusive markets in Australia, Asia Pacific and
Sub Saharan Africa.

Pure Hydrogen has been investigating methane pyrolysis (turquoise hydrogen), for the last two years and plans to use the HyPlasma process to prove commercial manufacturing of 21st century clean energy products: hydrogen and value-add carbon products, such as graphene from natural gas and bio-methane.

The company will have exclusive rights to commercialise the HyPlasma process in Australia, as well as in other key South East Asian countries and southern Africa for an initial 10-year period, with options to extend the length of exclusivity and add new regions.