Lithium Miner Eyes Even Greater Riches in Piles of Battery Waste – by David Stringer (Bloomberg News – March 22, 2018)

Recycling lithium material from used electric vehicle batteries promises to be even more profitable than mining the increasingly valuable metal, according to an Australian producer building a test facility in Canada.

Perth-based Neometals Ltd. is working to recover raw materials including lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper from expired batteries at a facility in Montreal, aiming to add production from recycling to its existing output from mining.

The electric vehicle revolution has sparked a surge in demand for battery materials, driving up prices and triggering a rush to secure new sources of supply.

As rising costs and increased competition pressure mining margins, recycling the metal in used batteries is poised to become an increasingly important resource, spurred by government regulation aimed at keeping them from landfills, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“What we are hoping to prove in the pilot plant is that it does provide a better net margin,” Chief Operating Officer Mike Tamlin said in a phone interview. “The numbers look far and away better than if you are doing a primary extraction from an ore.”

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