Altilium Metals welcomes the political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the EU council on a new harmonised regulation for batteries and waste batteries.

Chief negotiator Achille Variati stated “Our overall aim is to build a stronger EU recycling industry, particularly for lithium, and a competitive industrial sector as a whole, which is crucial in the coming decades for our continent’s energy transition and strategic autonomy”.

The regulation will apply to all batteries sold in the EU and adhering to the EU’s green production criteria will be a prerequisite to selling a battery within the bloc.

To cut down on the level of critical minerals that must be imported into the bloc, the EU raised collection and recycling targets:

  • New batteries must contain a set percentage of recycled materials: 16% cobalt, 85% lead, 6% lithium, and 6% nickel.
  • Ambitious collection targets for portable batteries to ensure a steady stream of recycled materials, collection targets will rise from 45% by 2023 to 73% by 2030.
  • For electric vehicles, the rate is set at 100% collection.

It is predicted that by 2030 the need for batteries across the bloc will be 14 times greater than today.

Altilium Metals is a clean tech group supporting the transition to net zero by recovering the critical metals needed for the energy transition from waste streams, saving natural resources and promoting a circular economy.

At its existing SX-EW hydrometallurgical plant in Europe, designed for processing copper mine waste, it will retrofit the plant for recycling battery waste from 24,000 EVs in 2023, producing lithium sulphate and nickel cobalt intermediates.

Incremental capital costs to modify the flow-sheet to recycle battery waste is substantially lower than a greenfield project.

There are few environmentally friendly options to recycle end of life batteries in Europe given the capital expenditure required and the permitting timeline associated with building a hydrometallurgical facility, giving Altilium Metals a first mover advantage.

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Building the recycling infrastructure needed for net-zero requires a collaborative approach.