Big gains in Thursday’s ASX trading session for two companies not commonly seen as being in the lithium / renewables game.
Shares in Neometals (ASX:NMT)
jumped more than 21% on Thursday to close at 58 cents after investors liked the update on its German battery joint venture Primobius.
According to the update, the demonstration plant trialling process improvements to the hydrometallurgical refining flowsheet have yielded outstanding results. This has seen nickel, cobalt and copper recoveries of around 95%.
Neometals said the latest test work results will be incorporated into the hydrometallurgical refinery (“Hub”) Engineering Cost Study for a proposed 50 tonnes per day (tpd) commercial-scale integrated recycling plant which is expected to be completed next month.
The company also said that “Front-End-Engineering (FEED) and mechanical package supply contracts for 10tpd Mercedes Benz Spoke are in concluding stages. Mercedes Benz hub activities are substantially advanced.
Primobius Gmb is the joint venture company owned 50-50 by Neometals and German group, SMS group GmbH, that is commercialising its lithium-ion battery (LiB) recycling technology.
“Primobius completed three LiB recycling Hub demonstration trials of its process improvements during the period December 2022 to March 2023 on electric vehicle battery modules that were shredded in the Hilchenbach LiB disposal facility.
“The success of the latest trials support Primobius’ goal of being the first to achieve the proposed recycling recovery requirements in the pending EU Battery Regulations.
“These regulations will mandate recycling of all batteries placed on the EU market. Once legislated, authorised recyclers will be required to recover at least 90% of contained nickel, cobalt, and copper by 2026 increasing to 95% in 2030; 35% for lithium in 2026 increasing to 75% by 2030.
“The process improvements including the overall recoveries referred to above now enable Primobius to offer mechanical package supply contracts for the 10tpd integrated (Spoke and Hub) recycling plants to existing partners, licensees and new customers in a growing Primobius business development pipeline.”
Neometals said product readiness for the larger proposed Stelco 50tpd Spoke is expected to be achieved in the second half of 2023 following the finalisation of more detailed engineering studies in the September quarter.
“Future demonstration trials are planned for the second half of 2023 for existing and new carmakers and cell-makers in Primobius’ business development pipeline.
“All plants supplied by Primobius will be built under mechanical package supply contracts by SMS group GmbH, a 150-year-old German plant builder with over 14,000 employees and manufacturing workshops in Europe, North America, India, and China.
Primobius is a leading LIB recycler that can provide disposal services and offer the supply of fully integrated LIB recycling plants under joint venture or technology licensing business models.
Recycling will end up as important as new battery making using freshly mined metals like lithium.
Meanwhile, shares in Redflow (ASX: RFX) surged 49% at one stage yesterday on news of a new battery contract in the US.
RedFlow shares closed up 35% at 25 cents after revealing it will get $12 million in revenue from the new contract.
The company told the ASX in an update that its scalable and sustainable flow batteries had been greenlit for use in a large-scale solar and storage project in the California.
The project will provide power for the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, located in California. The California Energy Commission (CEC) is providing the funding from part of its $US140 million long-duration energy storage grant program.
The US$12 million in revenue is expected to be paid progressively on commencement, delivery of batteries and completion of various milestones.
Under the Project, Redflow will supply, supervise installation and assist with the commissioning and maintenance of 2,000 ZBM3 batteries in its 200 kWh modular energy pods. Shipping of pods is anticipated in late 2023 and the first half of 2024.
According to RedFlow, the 20 MWh long-duration energy storage system will be one of the largest zinc-based battery projects in the world. It’s also the largest single sale and deployment of batteries globally RedFlow has achieved to date.
RedFlow CEO Tim Harris said: “This 20 MWh project is one of several large-scale opportunities in our pipeline and represents the start of the next phase of our growth strategy, validating our focus on large-scale systems in the US and Australia.”
The Project follows the 2 MWh system in California that Redflow successfully installed for Anaergia in 2022 and has now been operational for over 12 months.
“The batteries will be manufactured in Redflow’s factory in Thailand.