PARIS – French mining group Eramet said on Wednesday it could develop jointly with Suez a recycling facility in France for electric vehicle batteries by 2024.
Eramet, a major producer of nickel and manganese for the steel sector, has focused increasingly on materials for electric vehicles.
In addition to large mine deposits in Indonesia and Argentina, it sees recycling as contributing to its potential to cover 20% of the European Union’s nickel requirements, 25% of the bloc’s lithium needs and 12% of its cobalt demand for EV batteries by 2030.
Under an expanded partnership, Eramet and environmental services group Suez are to study solutions for industrial-scale recycling this year, with a view to building a lithium-ion battery recycling plant in France by 2024, the companies said.
The joint project would produce black mass, a metal concentrate containing nickel, cobalt, manganese, lithium and graphite that is suitable for hydrometallurgical refining.
Eramet will separately look at developing a refining plant by 2025-2026 to convert blackmass to battery grade products, it said.
Like the planned blackmass facility, the refining plant would be located in France, Eramet said.