Eye on Lithium: Umicore wants to build world’s largest battery recycling plant and everyone’s thanking Vulcan for their pops
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Belgian-based circular materials tech company, Umicore, wants to build a $525m battery recycling facility that would be capable of processing 150,000tpa of waste battery materials.
The company says the plant will be ‘15 times’ the size of its current facilities in Europe when it opens in 2026.
Umicore’s vice president of government affairs, Kurt Vandeputte anticipates the roll out to accelerate onto North America after taking place in Europe first.
“We are recycling today – it’s a matter of scaling up,” Vandeputte said in an interview with Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN).
Elsewhere in the recycling space, earier this week German multinational chemical company and largest chemical producer in the world, BASF, revealed its plans to build a commercial scale battery recycling black mass plant in Schwarzheide, Germany.
Black mass production is the first step in the battery recycling process and is based on mechanical treatment of the batteries.
The produced black mass contains high amounts of the key metals used to produce CAM: lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese, which will be the feedstock for the commercial hydro-metallurgical refinery for battery recycling that BASF plans to build in the middle of this decade.
The company said the site marked an ideal location for the build-up of battery recycling activities given the presence of many EV car manufacturers and cell producers in Central Europe and will have an annual processing capacity of 15,000t of EV batteries and scrap.
Earlier this year, Swedish battery developer Northvolt AB announcing its plans to repurpose a closed paper mill – founded in 1990 – into a battery materials factory.
The Kvarnsveden Mill in Borlänge, Sweden produced pulp and paper for over 120 years until its closure in 2021 but soon it will have the production capacity of more than 100 GWh of cathode material, which will enable cell assembly and production at multiple Northvolt facilities.
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Good day to be an ASX lithium play with 78 companies finishing in the green, 29 flat lining and only 21 ending the day in the red.
The lithium market has taken a hammering over the last couple of weeks but you wouldn’t have picked it after today’s fine performance.
Leading the lithium pack today is Vulcan, following news that has carmaker Stellantis on board as its second biggest shareholder.
Stellantis dropped a A$76m (€50M) equity investment into the lithium and renewable energy company in a bid to create a resilient and sustainable value chain for its European electric vehicle battery production.
In an interview with Stockhead, Vulcan managing director Francis Wedin says that while the move marks the first time an automaker has invested upstream in a listed lithium company, there will be many more to come in the industry.
“It’s a major tick of confidence by a top-five global auto manufacturer,” Wedin says, referring to an intensive due diligence process carried out by Stellantis.
“What’s been made very clear to us is that the net zero-carbon footprint of our lithium product is extremely important to them.
“Making sure this project is successful from a sustainability perspective is extremely important to Stellantis – they want to be closer aligned so they can see how we are developing this project and to make sure that it is doing what it says it does, and work together with us every step of the way.”