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American Manganese begins testing recycling of lithium-ion battery materials with view to building more plants

  • Author
  • Bob Matyi
  • Editor
  • Anthony Poole
  • Commodity
  • Metals
  • Topic
  • Battery Metals

Louisville, Kentucky — Canada's American Manganese hopes its newly begun testing of lithium-ion battery materials recycling at a pilot plant in British Columbia will lead to the construction of three to four 50-100 mt/day plants in a few years to recover cobalt, lithium nickel, manganese and aluminum, company president and CEO Larry Reaugh said Thursday.

The Surrey, BC-based company's processing partner, Kemetco Research, recently started processing a select sample of cathode scrap materials at the pilot facility.

"The commencement of the pilot plant operations marks a significant step in American Manganese's quest to prove its patent-approved lithium-ion battery recycling technology," said Norman Chow, Kemetco's president.

Reaugh agreed, telling S&P Global Platts in an interview his company was also anticipating an official US patent number for its recently approved patent application.

Reaugh said battery scrap, "trimmings from batteries," was being used in the pilot testing, which was expected to continue for three to six weeks.

American Manganese will then analyze the results and most likely decide to move forward with construction on a larger, approximately plant later this year.

"We have no trepidation here," he said.

Reaugh added without elaboration that his company "knows where we can access 40 [mt/day]" of scrap in the US.

Down the road, American Manganese envisions building one or more battery recycling plants in Europe.

American Manganese plans to recover metals from lithium-ion batteries such as cobalt, lithium, nickel, manganese and aluminum, using a patented combination of reagents and unit operations.

The company says it can provide 100% extraction of cathode metals at battery-grade purity.

American Manganese says it is receiving lots of queries from Europe and the US to take spent batteries and recycle them.

The company once concentrated on producing manganese from its Artillery Peak property in Arizona, but that project has taken a back seat to battery recycling for now.

-- Bob Matyi, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Anthony Poole, newsdesk@spglobal.com