Lithium Australia’s (ASX: LIT) 24%-owned subsidiary Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd will supply recycled battery metals to Korean-based SungEel Hitech under an offtake deal announced this morning.
The deal is part of Lithium Australia’s strategy to advance its battery recycling capabilities and will involve Envirostream supplying a mixed metal dust extracted from spent batteries to the Korean battery recycling company.
Contained within the mixed metal dust will be cobalt, nickel and lithium which have been recovered from old batteries at Envirostream’s battery recycling plant in Melbourne, Australia.
Under the memorandum of understanding, SungEel will have exclusivity to Envirostream’s mixed metal dust.
Envirostream will boost its shipments to SungEel starting this month, with SungEel to process the dust into cobalt, nickel and lithium chemicals.
These chemicals will then be incorporated in new lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-ion battery recycling vital to circular battery economy
According to Lithium Australia, SungEel is one of the world’s largest battery recyclers and is the biggest in South Korea.
Lithium Australia claims SungEel’s work is “vital to the implementation of a circular battery economy” both in Australia and globally.
The Korean company is also honing its knowledge and technology in the space through continued research and development.
Back in Australia, Envirostream is the country’s only company with integrated capacity to collect, sort, shred and separate all components of spent lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin noted Lithium Australia was working with Envirostream to roll-out Envirostream’s collection network and expand its capabilities “as rapidly as possible”.
“Expanding Envirostream’s processing capacity to keep spent lithium-ion batteries from landfill and export the energy metals they contain is an Australian imperative,” Mr Griffin explained.
“Closing the loop on the production of battery materials reduces the environmental footprint of the mining and processing aspects inherent in lithium-ion battery production, improves sustainability and prevents the components of spent lithium-ion batteries from leaking into groundwater and oceans as a consequence of their relegation to landfill or transport to other jurisdictions.”
“Together, Lithium Australia, Envirostream and SungEel can provide and immediate and viable solution to the lithium-ion battery disposal crisis in this country,” Mr Griffin said.