Lithium Australia locks in license to recycle lithium batteries

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The Victoria Environmental Protection Agency has issued Lithium Australia a 99-year operating license which provides the environmental and legal framework for its subsidiary, Envirostream Australia, to continue its lithium and other recycling activities. batteries at its premises in Campbellfield, Victoria. The license allows Envirostream Australia to process more than 500 tonnes of specified electronic waste each year.

Lithium Australia owns 90% of Envirostream Australia, a combination battery recycling company with a unique ability to collect and process all components of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries as well as single-use alkaline batteries.

Envirostream applied for a business license in 2020 for its site in Campbellfield, Victoria. The license allows Envirostream to reprocess specified electronic waste, including lithium and other batteries, at a capacity greater than 500 tonnes per year. The license is valid for 99 years, subject to Envirostream installing thermal cameras and firewall protection systems for the early detection and management of any fire incident that may arise. The atmospheric emission conditions are also stipulated.

A land use change request for the Campbellfield premises is currently underway in Hume City Council and the company expects it to be approved.

EPA clearance for our Victorian battery recycling facility for the next 99 years ensures that environmental safeguards are in place for the ever-increasing use of batteries necessary to decarbonize the economy.

The granting of the license is a timely move for Lithium Australia after Victoria banned the disposal of used batteries in landfills in 2019, as many contain toxic materials capable of polluting soil, groundwater and pathways. navigable.

As the only mixed battery recycler in Australia, Envirostream strives to divert as much battery material as possible from landfills and improve industry sustainability through the creation of a circular battery economy.

Lithium Australia said Australia has a duty to look after the environment to establish compliant recycling facilities that can safely handle the expected increased volume of end-of-life batteries.

Mr. Griffin added “As part of the process of obtaining this 99-year license, Lithium Australia and Envirostream Australia have worked together to develop specific internal improvements that improve the safety in the collection, storage and treatment of used batteries and further reduce any risk. fire associated with their recycling. We are the industry leaders in this regard. The roll-out of a national battery management program that markets used batteries and discourages their disposal in landfills is imminent and this will certainly increase the volume of used batteries available for recycling.”.

Lithium Australia is also seeking patents for proprietary lithium battery recycling technology developed by its subsidiary Envirostream. One of the two Australian patent applications relates to its process for recovering battery electrode material from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries. The second application encompasses the process of selective recovery of mixed metal sulphates from a metal sulphate processing liquor, after leaching of mixed metal materials recovered from lithium-ion batteries.

According to Envirostream, its Melbourne plant is the only commercial battery recycling facility in Australia. The company says its lithium-ion battery material recovery rate of over 90% compares favorably with its overseas competitors who incinerate batteries early in the recycling process. Envirostream claims that the incineration process reduces mass yield and can lead to toxic air emissions.

However, the company claims that its low-temperature processing recovers volatile components, including plastics, resulting in much higher mass yields and lower carbon emissions.

Lithium Australia and Envirostream are leading the pack and quite possibly the spearhead when it comes to recycling lithium-ion batteries.

Market participants are growing, however, as smart technologists seek to produce lucrative battery metals without the cost of mining them.

Is your ASX listed company doing anything interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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