Toronto, Ontario – (July 17, 2023) – Electra Battery Materials Corporation (NASDAQ: ELBM; TSX-V: ELBM) (“Electra” or the “Company”) today announced the first customer shipment of nickel-cobalt produced at its refinery complex north of Toronto from recycled battery material. Using Electra’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process, the nickel-cobalt mixed hydroxide precipitate product (“MHP”) was produced in the Company’s black mass recycling trial currently underway at its permitted, low-carbon hydrometallurgical refinery.
“The first customer delivery of product from our refinery marks another important milestone on the path to commercializing our black mass refining capabilities,” said Trent Mell, CEO of Electra. “Since the trial’s launch late in 2022, we have proven that our proprietary hydrometallurgical process works successfully, produces high-quality products, including lithium carbonate and nickel-cobalt MHP, and supports compelling economics.”
Black mass is the industry term used to describe the material remaining once expired lithium-ion batteries are shredded and all casings removed. Black mass contains high-value elements, including nickel, cobalt, lithium, manganese and graphite, that once recovered, can be recycled to produce new lithium-ion batteries.
Electra launched its black mass trial at the end of December 2022, with the goal of validating its hydrometallurgical process in a plant-scale setting and testing its refinery equipment.
Electra’s achievements since the start of its black mass trial include:
- On February 14, 2023, Electra confirmed that it had successfully completed the first plant-scale recycling of black mass material in North America and recovered critical metals needed for the electric vehicle battery supply chain using its proprietary hydrometallurgical process.
- On March 13, 2023, Electra announced that it recovered lithium, a critical mineral needed for the electric vehicle EV battery supply chain. The recovery and subsequent production of a high-quality lithium carbonate product in a plant-scale setting validate Electra’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process.
- Also, in March 2023 Electra produced a mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) at contained metal grades for nickel and cobalt above quoted market specifications.
- Recoveries within the MHP circuit, which produces the highest value product in the black mass recycling process, have been equivalent to and at times superior to bench scale results achieved previously.
- On May 11, 2023, Electra released highlights of a desktop scoping study based on a on a number of assumptions, including annual processing of 2,500 tonnes of black mass, metal prices using analysts’ long-term forecasts, recovery rates consistent with those achieved to date, and US$9.2 million of committed capital comprised of US$5.9 million for capital costs and US$3.3 million in working capital.
- On June 26, 2023 Electra announced that it had received a commitment for a strategic investment from the Three Fires Group Inc., which is expected to help accelerate the Company’s battery recycling strategy in North America. Following a successful black mass recycling trial, the parties intend to prioritize development of a permanent 2,500 tonne per annum recycling refinery while Electra continues to advance construction of its cobalt sulfate refinery. Completion of the investment with Three Fires Group Inc. remains subject to Electra securing additional financing of not less than $10,000,000, and applicable regulatory approvals.
About Electra Battery Materials
Electra is a processor of low-carbon, ethically-sourced battery materials. Currently focused on developing North America’s only cobalt sulfate refinery and operating a black mass demonstration plant, Electra is executing a multipronged strategy focused on onshoring the electric vehicle supply chain. Keys to its strategy are integrating black mass recycling and nickel sulfate production at Electra’s cobalt refinery located north of Toronto, advancing Iron Creek, its cobalt-copper exploration-stage project in the Idaho Cobalt Belt, and expanding cobalt sulfate processing into Bécancour, Quebec. For more information visit www.ElectraBMC.com.
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