Technology Minerals PLC (LSE:TM1)’s 48.25%-owned battery recycling business, Recyclus Group Ltd, has received final clearance from the Environment Agency to commence full operations at its lithium-ion battery recycling plant in Wolverhampton, West Midlands.
Recyclus has also been awarded Approved Battery Treatment Operator (ABTO) status by the EA, allowing it to commence recycling operations immediately, with on-site treatment and processing of spent Li-ion batteries.
The EA permit allows Recyclus a daily storage limit of 140 cubic metres, or around 100 tonnes, and to process up to 22,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries per year.
It is expected that 8,300 tonnes will be processed in the first year, utilising a single shift pattern of labour during the standard working week. Applications for licence variations to operate additional shifts will be considered in due course, as will the potential to increase processing capability.
The approval from the EA for the Wolverhampton plant is a major milestone for Recyclus, making it the first industrial scale plant in the UK with the capability to recycle lithium-ion batteries.
Operations will commence on completion of the fire prevention systems installation which is expected shortly. This will be followed immediately by a plant commissioning phase, which is expected to commence in June this year.
Following commencement of operations, Recyclus anticipates the receipt of gate fees for collection and storage of lithium-ion batteries, and from the sale of black mass, produced from the recycling process. Black mass contains critical battery metals that can be sold back into the battery supply chain.
Recyclus owns the intellectual property for both the process and the plant which is designed to process most lithium-ion battery types.
Recyclus will manufacture all plants in the UK. Recyclus’s aim is to increase the UK processing capability to around 50,000 tonnes per annum through the construction of five more recycling plants.
“This is a significant moment for the company and the UK,” said Robin Brundle, chairman of Technology Minerals.
“The Wolverhampton plant has become the first facility in the UK with the capability to recycle lithium-ion batteries on an industrial scale. Given the global shift towards electrification and the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries, we believe we have a compelling first mover advantage in this burgeoning market. Our aim is to establish enduring partnerships with businesses and organisations, both in the UK and internationally, offering them an environmentally friendly solution for their end-of-life batteries. With feedstock stored and ready to be processed, everything is in place to ramp up operations at the facility and start generating revenues.”
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