Mining group Glencore has formed a joint venture with British battery cell start-up Britishvolt to recycle batteries. The partners plan a recycling plant at Britannia Refined Metals operation, a Glencore company located in Northfleet, England.
According to the announcement, the plant will be operational by mid-2023 and will recycle at least 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries per year. Although the name Northfleet might suggest otherwise, the town is located directly east of London on the Thames. Therefore, the recycling plant will be built almost 500 kilometres south of Britishvolt’s battery factory in Blyth.
According to Glencore, the plant will recycle the entire step from Britishvolt’s battery production and batteries from other sources – such as batteries from electronic devices or complete battery packs from e-cars. For now, the site will carry out mechanical crushing and the hydrometallurgical process to produce the so-called black mass. According to Glencore, the partnership will also develop other recycling activities, “such as refining black mass into battery-grade raw materials”. Where the black mass will initially be processed is not specified.
The recycling joint venture is not the first contact between the two companies. In August 2021, it was announced that Britishvolt would purchase cobalt for battery production from the mining group. Concrete figures on the duration and scope of delivery of the contract were not given, however.
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