The only registered mixed battery recycling company expands to second site in Victoria

Lithium Australia’s battery recycling division has expanded its Victorian operations to include a second, much larger site in Laverton, following Wyndham City Council issuing a permit to allow ‘Materials Recycling’ at the site.

Sales of recycled battery products to both national and international customers are expected to increase because of the new facility.

Lithium Australia will conduct the operation through its 90% owned subsidiary Envirostream Australia, a national leader in mixed-battery collection and recycling.

As a result of the permit, recycling operations at Laverton are expected to ramp up to cater for the increased volumes of spent batteries anticipated because of the national Battery Stewardship Scheme, being rolled out next month.

Details of the permit

Envirostream’s expanded Victorian operations will include the new site in Laverton, which lies within the Wyndham City Council precinct. The premises – located at 17-19 Maria Street, Laverton North, within the Industrial 2 Zone (IN2Z) – is subject to the conditions of clause 33.02 of the Wyndham Planning Scheme. Envirostream staff worked with all relevant regulatory bodies in Victoria, including Worksafe, EPA, FRV and Wyndham City Council, to achieve this outcome.

The Laverton site is now fully permitted for receipt of end-of-life batteries and electronic waste, as well as storage, sorting, shredding and separation of same, and, ultimately, the sale of a mixed-metal-dust product to customers. The Laverton site increases Envirostream’s storage capacity by around 300% and sorting capacity by around 100%.

Sorting equipment in situ at the Laverton site

Expanding its operational space puts Envirostream ahead of demand for electric-vehicle and energy-storage-system battery dismantling. Laverton is permitted to store 300 tonnes of batteries at any one time.

This allows for the increases in volumes of spent batteries expected as a result of the handheld-battery collection network being established as part of the national Battery Stewardship Scheme. Installation of new modules – capable of sorting 4,000 kilograms of mixed spent batteries daily – at Laverton is expected to increase throughput while capturing necessary data for customers, regulators and the Battery Stewardship Council itself.

Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin had this to say, “The Company is pleased to announce this permit for the new Envirostream site at Laverton; it will service the battery recycling industry better by allowing safer handling and storage. Capturing larger volumes of spent lithium-ion batteries helps the Company create a secure battery supply chain … further underpinning the investment of Lithium Australia shareholders.

“With the Battery Stewardship Scheme commencing next month, the timing could not be better: permitting of the Laverton facility means the Company is well prepared for the expected increase in volumes of spent batteries available for recycling.”

About Lithium Australia

Lithium Australia aims to ensure an ethical supply of energy metals to the battery industry by creating a circular battery economy that enhances both sustainability and resource security. Reprocessing spent lithium-ion batteries to create new ones is intrinsic to this plan, with the Company operating Australia’s only fully integrated mixed-battery recycling business.

Having rationalised its portfolio of lithium projects/alliances, Lithium Australia continues its research into, and the development of, proprietary extraction processes for the conversion of all lithium silicates (including mine waste), and of fines generally discarded during conventional spodumene conversion, to lithium chemicals, from which it will produce advanced cathode materials for the battery industry globally.

The Australian federal government has recognised the Company’s progress through the awarding of substantial research grants designed to progress the nation’s advanced battery capabilities.

By uniting resources and innovation, Lithium Australia seeks to vertically integrate lithium extraction, processing and recycling.

About Envirostream

Envirostream is a national leader in battery collection and recycling. It operates Australia’s only commercial facilities for shredding and processing all types of spent batteries to efficiently recover the recyclable materials they contain; in particular, mixed-metal dust. The latter comprises the critical ‘active’ materials cobalt, nickel, lithium and manganese contained within spent lithium-ion batteries. Mixed-metal dust is therefore a sustainable feed material for the manufacture of new lithium-ion batteries.

Envirostream’s process is designed for zero atmospheric emissions and very low soluble losses, with minimal material consigned to landfill. Together with the high mass yields it achieves, this positions Envirostream as the planet’s most environmentally credentialled battery recycler.