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BusinessLi-Cycle and Glencore Announce Plans for a Battery Recycling Hub in Europe

Li-Cycle and Glencore Announce Plans for a Battery Recycling Hub in Europe

Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. and Glencore International AG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Glencore plc, a producer, recycler, and marketer of nickel and cobalt for the production of lithium-ion batteries, have signed a Letter of Intent to jointly study the feasibility of, and later, develop a Hub facility in Portovesme, Italy (the “Portovesme Hub”). The Portovesme Hub would produce critical battery materials, including nickel, cobalt and lithium from recycled battery content.

The Portovesme Hub will leverage Li-Cycle’s state-of-the-art hydrometallurgical technology and is expected to be the largest producer of sustainable battery-grade products in Europe.

Located in Sardinia, Italy, the Portovesme metallurgical complex consists of a lead-zinc smelter and hydrometallurgical facility which first started operations in 1929. The Portovesme site has substantial existing infrastructure, including access to a port, utilities, processing equipment from the hydrometallurgical plant and an experienced workforce.

Li-Cycle and Glencore’s joint plans regarding the Portovesme Hub

Li-Cycle and Glencore will jointly commence a definitive feasibility study (“DFS”) for this project within 60 days from this announcement. The DFS is expected to be completed by mid-2024. Subject to a final investment decision by the parties, the project will proceed to construction with commissioning of the Portovesme Hub expected to commence in late 2026 to early 2027.

Li-Cycle and Glencore also anticipate forming a 50/50 joint venture that would repurpose part of the existing Glencore metallurgical complex in Portovesme, Italy to create the Portovesme Hub. This would enable a cost-efficient and expedited development plan. The project also contemplates competitive long-term financing from Glencore to fund Li-Cycle’s share of the capital investment.

Once operational, the Portovesme Hub is expected to have processing capacity of up to 50,000 to 70,000 tonnes of black mass annually, or the equivalent of up to 36 GWh of lithium-ion batteries. The black mass processed at the Portovesme Hub is expected to be supplied from Li-Cycle’s growing Spoke network in Europe and through Glencore’s commercial network. The Portovesme Hub is expected to be the first facility of its kind and scale to come online in Europe. Together with Li-Cycle’s Spoke network, and Glencore’s battery circularity platform, this facility would enable Europe to get one step closer to closing the loop on manufacturing scrap, as well as end-of-life batteries, fully within Europe, using hydrometallurgical processes.

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