Perth-based lithium-ion battery stock Neometals (ASX:NMT) announced that Primobius, its 50-50 joint venture with German-based SMS Group, has signed an MoU with Japan’s conglomerate giant Itochu Corporation.

The MoU will provide a framework towards battery recycling, under which Primobius would contribute its lithium-ion material processing capabilities.

The arrangement will involve a two-step process, taking advantage of Itochu’s strong footprint along the entire battery value chain.

The first step involves Itochu supplying its stationary energy storage batteries to Primobius’ Demonstration Plant, and followed up by Primobius generating recycled products for analysis by Itochu.

The Primobius Demonstration Plant is scheduled to commence operation in the June quarter 2021, with the MoU effective until 31 December 2022.

Neometal’s battery recycling push

While lithium-ion batteries are at the forefront of the EV push, they contain hazardous materials, and eventually need to be disposed of.

Neometals is one of the companies at the forefront of materials recovery and recycling, as European lawmakers are setting rules around the recycling hazardous waste in the batteries.

The company has plans to invest in European plants, which will recover graphite lithium, cobalt and nickel from recycling batteries, as well as vanadium from slag stockpiled at steel mills in Sweden and Finland.

It has a diversified portfolio of projects from lithium, vanadium, titanium and nickel at different stages of the commodity lifecycle. It recently announced a breakthrough in China, producing separate ilmenite and vanadium rich magnetite concentrates from a reduction roast and magnetic separation.

Magnis Energy also making grounds

Meanwhile, another lithium play, Magnis Energy (ASX:MNS) has ramped its senior executive roster at its New-York lithium-ion battery plant. The company has brought in a team of experts to lead production at the iM3NY Lithium-ion battery plant in Endicott, New York.

The new hires include Chaitanya Sharma, who has been named CEO of the plant. Sharma has 15 years experience in the lithium-ion battery industry, and served as the chief engineer to build Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada.

The new hires followed came after the company announced that it has made a breakthrough in its fast-charging battery cells.


Neometals and Magnis share prices today: