The UK-based metal company Altilium Metals has announced it will build a battery recycling plant in Teeside in North England with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes of battery scrap. The announcement was jointly made by the company and Teeside's mayor saying a decision would be taken early 2023.
Altilium Metals is founded by people with background in metal trading. The company claims to own nickel and cobalt assets in Indonesia for which the company is applying for local permits for processing, refining and export. Since two years the company also has been involved in recycling of lithium-ion batteries through a project at the University of Plymouth which has been funded through £3M in government grants.
The plant in Teeside will be designed by the engineering firm Hatch and is said to be capable of processing a mixed stream of feed of waste batteries, production scrap and virgin resources which will be sourced from the company's assets in Indonesia. Besides this plant the company also holds a multiyear concession agreement to extract minerals from manganese tailings in Bulgaria where it also has access to a solvent extraction and electro-winning plant. This plant is being repurposed for battery recycling and will from Q2 2023 be able to produce 3,000 tonnes of mixed hydroxide precipitate and 1,500 tonnes of lithium sulphate per year. In a second stage the plan is to further retrofit this plant to be able to process black mass into nickel and cobalt sulphate and lithium carbonate.
Despite high-flying plans the company list only a very small team and is currently doing a modest crowdfunding campaign with the aim to raise £714,000 on the crowdfunding platform Seedrs, at a valuation of £77.2M. In the crowdfunding campaign the company is exclusively described as a recycling company.
In the joint press release the plant in Teeside is described as multimillion investment with an aim to begin operation in 2025, generating 100-200 jobs.
A capacity of 100,000 tonnes would take the plant to one of the largest plants in Europe only dwarfed by the planned facilities of Northvolt and Umicore. As comparison Circular Energy Storage's estimate of material available for recycling in Europe amounts to 328,000 tonnes in 2030 of which 198,000 tonnes is production scrap generated primarily in Eastern and central Europe.
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