Lithium Australia’s subsidiary Envirostream Australia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with South Korean company SungEel HiTech for the sale of recycled battery metals.

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Envirostream's battery pulveriser

The Envirostream/SungEel MoU involves the exclusive supply of metals extracted from recycled lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) out of Australia. This supply comprises mixed metal dust (MMD) – containing the energy metals cobalt, nickel and lithium – recovered from spent LIBs at Envirostream’s battery recycling plant in Melbourne, Australia.

Currently, Envirostream is the only Australian company able to recycle all the energy metals from spent LIBs.

Envirostream will recommence its shipments of MMD this month, following a recent expansion of its recycling facilities.

SungEel, which recovers critical energy metals from LIB scrap, has become South Korea’s largest battery recyclers. A leader in the development of environmentally sustainable technologies, SungEel's research and development programmes are ongoing.

SungEel's work is vital to the implementation of a circular battery economy not just within Australia but also internationally.

Lithium Australia Managing Director, Adrian Griffin confirmed that Lithium Australia was working with Envirostream to roll out the latter's Australia-wide collection network and expand its shredding and separation capacities as rapidly as possible.

“The MoU with SungEel provides for immediate refining of the MMD that Envirostream produces,” said Mr Griffin.

“It is expected that Envirostream's next MMD shipment to SungEel will take place this month. Expanding Envirostream’s processing capacity to keep spent LIBs from landfill and export the energy metals they contain is an Australian imperative.

“Closing the loop on the production of battery materials reduces the environmental footprint of the mining and processing aspects inherent in LIB production, improves sustainability and prevents the components of spent LIBs from leaking into groundwater and oceans as a consequence of their relegation to landfill or transport to other jurisdictions.

“Together, Lithium Australia, Envirostream and SungEel can provide an immediate and viable solution to the LIB disposal crisis in this country.”