Neometals Ltd (ASX: NMT) reports that Primobius GmbH, a JV company owned 50:50 by Neometals and SMS group GmbH, has executed a non-binding MoU with Slovakian battery manufacturer InoBat.
The MoU provides an evaluation framework towards a potential Primobius-InoBat commercial cooperation that will operate a commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Central/Eastern Europe.
InoBat is a member of the IPM Group of companies, focusing mainly on infrastructure and technology related investments in Europe, primarily in Slovakia, where it is establishing lithium-ion battery (LiB) demonstration and production lines with applications in the electric vehicle sector.
Neometals Managing Director, Chris Reed, said initial processing of InoBat pilot battery production scrap would occur in a recycling ‘spoke’ facility. This is anticipated to be followed by hydrometallurgical refining of the spoke output (Black Mass) in a ‘hub’ facility to generate battery cathode raw materials.
In addition to strong progress on its feasibility studies and preparations for the upcoming German recycling demonstration trials, Primobius is currently very active in its endeavours to secure feed sources and offtake partners for future commercial operations.
The InoBat MoU is a significant step towards commercial operations for Primobius and represents the first of many pathways to near-term cashflow.
Primobius and InoBat have commenced business planning activities and will work progressively towards definitive legal agreements for the proposed JV.
Neometals is delighted with the level of engagement that has been received by Primobius from the battery sector in Europe,” Mr Reed said.
“Reaching preliminary development terms with a battery producer so quickly after Primobius’ establishment reflects the status of our project and the industrial scalability of our recycling solution.
“Europe leads the world in electric vehicle value chain investments and we are seeing first-hand how industry is positioning to ensure that brands can deliver the lowest carbon footprint products and support resource efficiency and circular economy principles.
“Primobius is very well placed to capitalise on the push for domestically sourced supply chains and this deal with InoBat is a material endorsement of the Primobius business plan.
“The relevance of the MoU should also be considered in the context of the consortium of conglomerate partners that sit behind InoBat (inc. CEZ, MOL and IPM Group).”