ASX-listed Neometals has executed a conditional binding agreement with a subsidiary of luxury vehicle manufacturer Mercedes-Benz that will see the duo team up to develop lithium-ion battery recycling solutions. The collaboration will see Primobius, a joint venture partner of Neometals, team up with the car manufacturer’s subsidiary, LICULAR GmbH.
According to Neometals, the agreement will run until late December 2026 and includes an option to extend the deal by mutual consent.
The announcement follows news the pair were locked in discussions to design and construct a 2,500 tonne per annum lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Southern Germany.
Primobius was founded two years ago by Perth-based Neometals and German plant manufacturer SMS Group to develop and commercialise an environmentally sustainable battery recycling method for spent lithium-ion batteries.
The tie-up proved fruitful after the luxury vehicle juggernaut handpicked Primobius as its preferred technology partner for the design and construction of the proposed battery and waste disposal recycling plant at its Kuppenheim Operations base in Germany.
According to Neometals, the research and development deal with LICULAR is contingent on the company issuing a purchase order for the engineering, supply and installation of the fundamental gear required for the recycling plant’s completion.
The plant will be built in two stages and is scheduled to launch its operations next year.
Following the facility’s construction and the delivery of the agreed purchase order, the partners will liaise and collaborate in the plant’s ongoing operations.
Under the terms of the agreement, Primobius will back LICULAR by commissioning the recycling plant, chasing down approvals and government funding along with training. It will also provide on-site engineering assistance to the company’s workforce.
Neometals’ latest play comes off the back of the company securing an operating permit for a 10 tonne per day shredding facility in Hilchenbach, Germany last month and the signing of an agreement to commercialise its recycling technology with Canadian steelmaker Stelco Holdings in December 2021.
The electric vehicle sector is tipped to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 29 per cent over the next ten years according to Deloitte and Neometal’s recent moves appear to be aimed at meeting global demand for the in-demand battery metal through an alternative source to mining.
As economies fight to meet net zero targets, Neometals’ lithium-ion battery recycling facilities could prove a lucrative and sustainable means of suppling energy to a market ravenous for all things linked to the bubbling electric vehicle sector.
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