Electra Battery Materials Corporation, a leading player in the battery materials sector, has announced its first customer shipment of recycled nickel-cobalt. Produced at the company’s refinery complex located north of Toronto, the nickel-cobalt mixed hydroxide precipitate product (MHP) was manufactured from recycled battery material using Electra’s unique hydrometallurgical process.
Why It Matters
This customer delivery signifies an essential milestone in Electra’s journey to commercialize its black mass refining capabilities. As the industry term for the residue left after expired lithium-ion batteries have been processed, black mass contains high-value elements like nickel, cobalt, lithium, manganese, and graphite. When recovered, these elements can be recycled to produce new lithium-ion batteries, presenting a sustainable solution in the face of a growing demand for electric vehicle batteries.
Electra’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process has proven its efficacy since its trial launch in late 2022, delivering high-quality products including lithium carbonate and nickel-cobalt MHP. Key accomplishments in this trial phase include:
- Electra confirmed the first successful plant-scale recycling of black mass in North America on February 14, 2023.
- On March 13, 2023, Electra announced successful lithium recovery, a critical component in the electric vehicle battery supply chain.
- In March 2023, the company produced a mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) with metal grades for nickel and cobalt exceeding market specifications.
- Recoveries within the MHP circuit equaled, and at times exceeded, previous bench scale results.
- Electra received a strategic investment commitment from Three Fires Group Inc. on June 26, 2023, expected to propel the company’s battery recycling strategy in North America forward.
The delivery of Electra’s first customer shipment of recycled nickel-cobalt represents a landmark achievement for both the company and the broader recycling industry. As Electra continues to validate and refine its proprietary hydrometallurgical process, its black mass recycling initiative offers a promising avenue towards a sustainable and robust supply of critical materials for the electric vehicle battery industry.