According to The Australian Financial Review, Perth-based Neometals is set to build a demonstration lithium-ion battery recycling plant in Germany as Europe continues to lead Australia in attracting investment in green energy technology.
Neometals and Dusseldorf-headquartered SMS Group are due to update the market about their joint venture after the passing of a July 31 deal deadline.
SMS, a leading supplier of metallurgical equipment and plants, has been in an already extended exclusive due diligence process with Neometals since October after being impressed by the potential of the Australia-developed recycling technology and the performance of a pilot plant in Canada.
The interest comes as European lawmakers and others mandate recycling and industry stewardship of lithium-ion batteries that are recognised as hazardous waste and carry a storage and transport fire risk.
The issue is becoming more pressing with the first wave of electric vehicle and static storage batteries due to come to the end of their life over the next few years and with a tonne of Apple batteries containing some 600 kilograms of cobalt.
The Neometals process allows the recovery of valuable battery minerals for reuse.
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