Neometals Ltd.'s scoping study for its proprietary lithium‐ion battery recycling technology, which is in use at its Canadian pilot plant, outlined "potentially robust economic margins."
The company said June 4 that it plans to kick off a feasibility study in fiscal year 2019-2020 using data from the pilot plant to estimate costs to build and operate a commercial‐scale recycling plant.
The scoping study was based on establishing a greenfields operation for an integrated shredding and processing plant in Kwinana, Western Australia.
It calculated economics of both a 10-tonne-per-day and a 50 t/d battery shredding and hydrometallurgical processing circuit, and it found the latter to be more efficient for initial commercial operation.
The 50 t/d, or about 18,250-tonne-per-annum, plant is estimated to have a pretax net present value, discounted at 12% of US$220 million, and a 72% internal rate of return.
Total capital costs were estimated at US$66 million, including a 25% contingency, with a payback of under 2 years.
The plant is expected to produce 9,623 tonnes of cobalt sulfate, 5,635 tonnes of copper sulfate, 1,544 tonnes of lithium sulfate, and 2,020 tonnes of nickel sulfate, during a 10-year life.
The pretax cashflow was estimated at US$502 million, and life of plant revenue at US$850 million.