New Partnership to Advance Circularity in Battery Raw Material Supply Chains

Li-Cycle and Glencore want to create an integrated network to supply primary and secondary lithium-ion battery materials.

According to the press releases of Switzerland-based Glencore International AG and Canadian Li-Cycle Holdings Corp., the strategic partnership will better serve the EV battery supply chain by providing customers with an integrated approach for their metal needs. The two companies have executed a global feedstock supply agreement under which Glencore will provide all types of manufacturing scrap and end-of-life lithium-ion batteries to Li-Cycle.

Li-Cycle (a leading lithium-ion battery recycler in North America) and Glencore (a leading provider of primary metals for the production of EV batteries) have also entered into a non-binding Term Sheet for global, long-term strategic contracts, which would complement Li-Cycle’s existing off-take and marketing agreements, including:

  • Supply of black mass to Li-Cycle’s Hubs
  • Off-take of black mass from Li-Cycle’s Spokes
  • Off-take of battery-grade end pro­ducts produced by Li-Cycle’s Hubs
  • Off-take of by-products from Li-Cycle’s Spokes and Hubs, and
  • Supply of sulfuric acid, one of the key input reagents for Li-Cycle’s Hubs

As reported, upon execution of the commercial agreements, Glencore will make a 200 million Dollar investment in the Canadian partner and will have the right to nominate one board member to the Li-Cycle board. “The commercial agreements are expected to be finalized and the financial investment is expected to close in the company’s third fiscal quarter 2022,” Li-Cycle gave account. With the addition of this strategic partnership with Li-Cycle, Glencore seeks to combine primary and recycled battery raw materials to produce battery-grade end products, the Swiss company informed. In Europe, the firm intends to assess the feasibility of utilizing its existing asset footprint “with a view towards re-purposing some of our assets. This will reduce the lead-time for achieving industrial-scale production of battery-grade end products”.

Glencore would also explore, together with other appropriate supply chain partners, the production of precursor cathode active material (pCAM) in Europe and potentially North America.

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 2/2022, Page 23, Photo: Li-Cycle)