Li-Cycle and Glencore Boost European Recycling

Li-Cycle and Glencore, a prominent nickel and cobalt producer, recycler, and marketer, are collaborating closely to accelerate their joint venture in Sardinia, Italy. The Portovesme Hub project will be fast-tracked in two phases, with the aim of efficiently producing high-quality lithium carbonate for batteries.

Why It Matters

This project, with its expedited timeline, underpins the European Union’s objective of recycling at least 15% of its critical raw materials consumption by 2030 as outlined in the CRM Act. The Portovesme Hub will foster the sustainable use of resources while contributing to Europe’s broader environmental and industrial goals.

Key Points

  • Phase 1:
    • Set to process up to 11,000 tonnes of black mass yearly.
    • Targeted to commence operations in the first half of 2024.
    • Predicted yield includes 1,500 tonnes of lithium carbonate, 3,000 tonnes of nickel, and 500 tonnes of cobalt annually.
  • Phase 2:
    • Planned processing capacity of 50,000 to 70,000 tonnes of black mass.
    • Expected production of up to 16,500 tonnes of lithium carbonate, 18,000 tonnes of nickel, and 2,250 tonnes of cobalt yearly.
    • The facility is equipped to handle all variants of lithium-ion-based black mass.

Both phases will capitalize on the current infrastructure at Glencore’s Portovesme complex and employ Li-Cycle’s cutting-edge hydrometallurgical process. The joint venture agreement proposes a balanced 50/50 division between Li-Cycle and Glencore, with additional financing provisions from Glencore to support Li-Cycle’s capital share.

Bottom Line

Li-Cycle and Glencore’s collaboration is pivotal in establishing Europe as a forerunner in the sustainable recycling of lithium-ion batteries. This venture, alongside the expertise from both companies, is anticipated to significantly contribute to a greener and more resource-efficient Europe, keeping in stride with the continent’s sustainable goals.


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