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Largest lithium miner to recycle metal from old cars

(Bloomberg) – The world’s largest lithium miner wants to extract more metal for batteries from old cars as demand increases and disused electric vehicles are traded.

Albemarle Corp. is investing in and partnering with automotive equipment manufacturers in the recycling effort, which it considers “critical” to its future growth.

The miner is part of a growing list of companies looking to gain a share of the recovered battery materials market, as lithium supplies show signs of shortage. Thirteen years after the debut of the Tesla Roadster, a first-generation electric vehicle is nearing retirement, making more battery packs available. Once that happens, recycling will “take off,” said Christopher Perrella of Bloomberg Intelligence.

“It is a very early stage, it is something we are investing in now.” Eric Norris, Albemarle’s lithium manager, said in an interview. “It is a very comprehensive and critical endeavor for our future growth. We consider this to be a future resource in which we would like to play a prominent role ”.

The recycling initiative is already underway at the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company, with a joint development agreement with a customer and the company seeking to make investments with original equipment manufacturers, Norris said. Albemarle will help OEMs recycle end-of-life batteries using its proprietary technology, he said.

Commercial activity will be seen in the second half of the decade, when regulatory mandates stipulate that those batteries must be recycled, Norris said.

BloombergNEF estimates that 62,000 metric tons of used electric vehicles and stationary storage packages reached the end of their useful life in 2020. This will grow to more than 4 million tons by 2035, according to BNEF.

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Albemarle’s initiative can also help enhance your environmental credentials.

Recycling is seen by environmental groups as an important way to reduce new mining projects. In the future, end-of-life lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries will be the main source of secondary metals cobalt, lithium and nickel, according to an April report commissioned by Earthworks and published by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University. of Technology Sidney.

Original Note: Biggest Lithium Miner Gears Up to Tap Metal From Old Cars (1)

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