Electra unveils battery metals recycling demonstration plant

Electra Battery Materials has announced the launch of a demonstration plant designed to recover and recycle high-value elements found in lithium-ion batteries, including nickel, cobalt, lithium, copper, and graphite at its refinery complex north of Toronto.

Electra said it will process up to 75 tonnes of black mass material in a batch mode using its proprietary hydrometallurgical process in the demonstration plant, adding it expects to complete the demonstration plant in Q1 2023.

Pending the successful completion of the demonstration plant, Electra said it will assess whether to continue processing black mass throughout 2023 with material supplied by its business partners or from third parties.

Electra’s battery recycling strategy is the second of a phased development plan for an integrated battery materials park in Ontario that will recycle lithium batteries, produce cobalt, nickel, and manganese sulphates from primary feeds and before supplying the battery-grade material to third-party cathode precursor manufacturers,” the company said in a statement.

The company noted that in 2023, it will commission North America’s only cobalt sulfate refinery that will have an initial production capacity of 5,000 tonnes of contained cobalt per annum.

Electra’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process has a low carbon footprint and produces stable non-acid generating residue, thereby reducing environmental impacts while meeting or exceeding water discharge effluent criteria as stipulated by both federal and provincial regulations.

Electra said it is a processor of low-carbon, ethically-sourced battery materials. Currently commissioning North America’s only cobalt sulfate refinery, Electra is executing a multipronged strategy focused on onshoring the electric vehicle supply chain. 

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