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American Manganese moves forward with plans to recycle lithium-ion battery materials

Pilot plant for recycling battery cathode materials. Photo by American Manganese.

American Manganese (TSX.V: AMY; FRANK: 2AM) announced this week that its partner Kemetco Research had started the processing of a select sample of cathode scrap material through Stages 1 and 2 of a Pilot Plant built to recycle cobalt, nickel, manganese, and aluminum.

In a press release, the British Columbia-based company said the commencement of the pilot plant followed a hazard and operability study and preliminary testing of all the unit operations in the first two processing stages.

Scrap battery cathode material. Photo by American Manganese.

The exploration firm also provided details on the different stages of its hydrometallurgical plant aimed at generating a continued recovery of cathode material.

Stage 1 – Pre-treatment of cathode material
Stage 2 – Leach of active material
Stage 3 – Purification
Stage 4 – Recovery of base metals
Stage 5 – Lithium recovery and water recycle

According to Norman Chow, president of Kemetco Research, having gone through the first couple of phases is an accomplishment, as the company moves forward in its quest to prove its patent-approved lithium-ion battery recycling technology.

“This is a great milestone for the company as we work towards a complete lithium-ion battery recycling process. The company is also anticipating an official U.S. Patent number for its recently approved patent application,” Reaugh said in the media statement.

In previous releases, American Manganese has cited industry sources as saying 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, in the firm’s view, can be recycled into usable cathode material.