Stelco Holdings Inc. (TSX: STLC) is making a move to enter the electric vehicle battery game. The Canadian steelmaker has executed licensing and option agreements with German battery recycler Primobius GmbH.
“Stelco has reached an agreement that will enable Stelco to create a closed-loop system of auto recycling and provision of green steel and battery metals back to its automotive OEM customers,” said CEO Alan Kestenbaum.
The binding agreements allow the Ontario-based steel company to “commercialize Primobius’s proprietary advanced electric vehicle battery recycling and processing technologies in North America.” The licensing agreement permits the firm to advance sourcing agreements and start engineering processes while the option agreement gives Primobius the right to acquire 25%-50% of Stelco’s venture performing said operations.
If Primobius decides not to exercise this option, Stelco gains sole rights to utilize the firm’s proprietary lithium-ion battery recycling technology in Canada, the United States, and Mexico–with due royalty to Primobius.
Stelco currently has plans to start its lithium-ion battery recycling operations at its 20,000-net ton per annum refinery in Lake Erie Works. The facility is expected to produce 18,400 net tons per annum of nickel, manganese and cobalt sulphates, and lithium hydroxide and carbonate, as well as 40,000 net tons per annum of scrap steel to be fed into the steelmaker’s operations.
Primobius is a 50-50 joint venture of Australian metals company Neometals (ASX: NMT) and private German metallurgy firm SMS Group. Its battery recycling technology is currently commissioned at its 4,000-net ton per annum facility in Hilchenbach, Germany.
Detailed engineering studies for the venture are expected to be completed by mid-2022 while initial operations are targeted to commence in 2023.
Stelco last traded at $38.94 on the TSX.
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