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Eramet and Suez to set up pre-processing plant in France


The French multinational mining company Eramet is initiating a study with the aim to set up a pre-processing plant in France by 2024. The plant will produce black mass which will need further refining but the companies could already in 2026 establish a hydrometallurgical plant for production of battery material from recyclables.


Eramet and Suez have been working together since 2020 in the €4.7M EU project ReLieVi which also included BASF as a project partner. In May 2021 Eramet and Suze signed an

agreement to expand their joint efforts in EV battery recycling.


While the duo assesses various locations for the plant, Eramet will start the construction of pre-industrial demonstrator in its research and innovation center which will pave the way for a commercial material recovery plant following the pre-processing.


Eramet has been involved in battery recycling for many years through its subsidiary Erasteel (formerly known as Valdi) through which it recycles alkaline and nickel-metal hydride batteries. As a major mining company Eramet also is one of the major nickel producers in the world with mines and production in Indonesia and New Caledonia. The company is also producing manganese and is aiming for a position in lithium with a 24,000 tpa (LCE) plant under construction in Argentina.


Suez is one of the world's largest waste management and recycling company with activities mainly in Europe, Asia and Africa. In 2021 the company agreed to be acquired by its rival, French waste management company Veolia. The merger is currently in its final phase. Veolia has itself interests in lithium-ion battery recycling with two recycling facilities in Switzerland (Batrec) and France (EuroDieuze) as well as an recent project in the UK. Through EuroDieuze Veolia is also developing a hydrometallurgical process together with Solvay and Renault. It's not clear how these entities will be affected by the Eramet and Suez initiative.


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