Canadian Manufacturing

Electra announces an offtake agreement for recycled battery material

Glencore AG will purchase the nickel and cobalt products until the end of 2024 on market-based terms.

April 6, 2022   by CM Staff

TORONTO — Electra Battery Materials Corporation announced an offtake agreement for nickel and cobalt produced from a battery recycling plant that it expects to commission in 2023 at its Battery Materials Park north of Toronto. Under the agreement, Glencore AG will purchase the nickel and cobalt products until the end of 2024 on market-based terms.

  • Offtake contract covers 2023-2024 production of nickel and cobalt from refining of black mass feed generated from lithium-ion batteries. Offtake contracts for lithium, copper and graphite are under discussion with other parties.

  • Electra plans to operate a battery recycling demonstration plant in 2022 using existing equipment at a cost of C$3 million and commission the commercial plant in 2023.

  • Electra’s hydrometallurgical refinery is expected to provide higher yields at a lower cost and at significantly lower energy intensity, compared to traditional facilities.

  • Electra’s refinery is 100% powered by clean, hydroelectric power, resulting in nearly zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“The demand for recycled battery materials is very strong but there is limited refining capacity in North America today to treat black mass with a hydrometallurgical process – the preferred route due to high metal recoveries and near zero GHG emissions,” said Trent Mell, CEO. “Electra expects to be one of the first such refiners, leveraging its permitted site north of Toronto and approximately C$100 million of existing infrastructure and equipment.

Electra’s battery recycling strategy is the second of a four-phase development plan for an integrated battery materials park in Canada that will recycle lithium batteries, produce cobalt and nickel from primary feeds and then send the material to a battery cathode precursor manufacturer that would co-locate within the same industrial park. Commissioning of North America’s only cobalt sulfate refinery is the first phase, which is scheduled to be commissioned in December 2022.

Electra’s strategy is to partner with third parties who collect spent batteries and shred the battery cell electrodes into a metal-rich powder known as “black mass.”

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Electra’s long-term objective is to feed cobalt and nickel content in MHP into its own cobalt and nickel sulfate circuits. Glencore’s Nikkelverk refinery in Norway represents a near-term and low-carbon solution to a circular economy until such time as Electra has completed its Phase 3 construction of a nickel sulfate plant.