American Manganese (TSX.V: AMY; FRANK: 2AM) announced that it has successfully completed the recycling of 100% of cathode materials (Co, Ni, Mn, Al) and 92% of lithium from its US Patent Pending recycling application.
In a press release, CEO Larry Reaugh said that the company has also produced rechargeable lithium-ion cobalt and lithium nickel manganese button cell batteries from that recycled cathode material.
“Management has been studying ways to capitalize on the company’s technologies working toward developing positive cash flow. One such opportunity may exist in recycling unused cathodes. Industry sources have shown that up to 10% of manufactured lithium ion battery cathodes are rejected for use. The rejected cathodes, termed ‘scrap,’ consist of the aluminum foil backing and the cathode metal powder which we believe can be recycled into usable cathode material using AMI’s patent-pending process,” Reaugh explained.
The monetary values (per 500 kg) of the metals recovered from electric vehicle lithium ion batteries are $5,947 for lithium cobalt, $2,347.00 for nickel manganese cobalt, and $1,585.00 for nickel cobalt aluminum.
The numbers show a ‘significant increase’ in post-consumer electric vehicle battery value, compared to January of 2017. This is due, according to American Manganese’s CEO, to the increase in the price of cobalt from $35.02 to $58.50/kg over the past six months.
“Cobalt is currently under severe supply side pressure, and is expected to remain undersupplied. According to the Cobalt Development Institute the battery industry consumes 41% of global cobalt supply. Over the next ten years, that usage is expected to increase to above 65%,” Reaugh said and added that such increase in anticipated demand, will result in recycling being an important part of the supply solution to an emerging cobalt shortage.
The executive also announced that in early 2018, the company intends to build and begin operating a hydrometallurgical plant to prove continuous recovery of cathode material. The plant will be able to recycle up to 4000 tons of cobalt from spent lithium-ion batteries each year – with a market value of over US$ 230 million.