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Neometals' scoping study for lithium battery recycling plant pegs US$220M value

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.