Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (NYSE: LICY) (“Li-Cycle” or the “Company”), an industry leader in lithium-ion battery resource recovery and the leading lithium-ion battery recycler in North America, and Glencore International AG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Glencore plc (LON: GLEN) (“Glencore”), a leading producer, recycler, and marketer of nickel and cobalt for the production of lithium-ion batteries, have signed a Letter of Intent to jointly study the feasibility of, and later, develop a Hub facility in Portovesme, Italy (the “Portovesme Hub”). The Portovesme Hub would produce critical battery materials, including nickel, cobalt and lithium from recycled battery content.
The Portovesme Hub will leverage Li-Cycle’s state-of-the-art hydrometallurgical technology and is expected to be the largest producer of sustainable battery-grade products in Europe.
Located in Sardinia, Italy, the Portovesme metallurgical complex consists of a lead-zinc smelter and hydrometallurgical facility which first started operations in 1929. The Portovesme site has substantial existing infrastructure, including access to a port, utilities, processing equipment from the hydrometallurgical plant and an experienced workforce.
Li-Cycle and Glencore will jointly commence a definitive feasibility study (“DFS”) for this project within 60 days from this announcement. The DFS is expected to be completed by mid-2024. Subject to a final investment decision by the parties, the project will proceed to construction with commissioning of the Portovesme Hub expected to commence in late 2026 to early 2027.
Li-Cycle and Glencore also anticipate forming a 50/50 joint venture that would repurpose part of the existing Glencore metallurgical complex in Portovesme, Italy to create the Portovesme Hub. This would enable a cost-efficient and expedited development plan. The project also contemplates competitive long-term financing from Glencore to fund Li-Cycle’s share of the capital investment.
Once operational, the Portovesme Hub is expected to have processing capacity of up to 50,000 to 70,000 tonnes of black mass annually, or the equivalent of up to 36 GWh of lithium-ion batteries. The black mass processed at the Portovesme Hub is expected to be supplied from Li-Cycle’s growing Spoke network in Europe and through Glencore’s commercial network. The Portovesme Hub is expected to be the first facility of its kind and scale to come online in Europe. Together with Li-Cycle’s Spoke network, and Glencore’s battery circularity platform, this facility would enable Europe to get one step closer to closing the loop on manufacturing scrap, as well as end-of-life batteries, fully within Europe, using hydrometallurgical processes.
Tim Johnston, co-founder and Executive Chair, Li-Cycle, commented:
“The planned Portovesme Hub is a landmark project for Europe’s battery recycling industry and is expected to be the largest source of recycled battery-grade lithium on the Continent. We are excited to expand our global strategic partnership with Glencore and build on our learnings from the Rochester Hub in support of the rapid growth of the lithium-ion battery ecosystem in an environmentally friendly manner.
Li-Cycle’s expansion in Europe aligns with our modular rollout strategy, as we replicate our successful North American model, which mirrors customer demand and commercial contracting with a strategically located pre-processing Spoke network and centralized post-processing Hub.”
Kunal Sinha, Global Head of Recycling, Glencore, commented:
“This project, combined with our existing footprint in primary supply as well as recycling of battery metals, underpins our ambition to become the circularity partner of choice for the European battery and EV industry. This also marks a significant step in our collaboration with Li-Cycle, a preferred partner in the lithium-ion battery recycling space.
Establishing a Hub through the re-purposing of our Portovesme site, which could become the first Glencore asset to produce battery-grade lithium, will enable us to truly close the loop for our European OEM and gigafactory customers across all aspects of the supply chain. It will shorten delivery times, reduce emissions by minimising the distance of the freight routes and support Italy and Europe’s ambitions to be a global leader in the circular economy.”
The Portovesme Hub, once operational, is expected to provide significant benefits to both Li-Cycle and Glencore by enabling an accelerated pathway to a Europe-based post-processing facility with low capital intensity due to the significant existing infrastructure, equipment, and experienced workforce at the Portovesme site.
Click here to access a short video about Li-Cycle and Glencore’s joint plans regarding the Portovesme Hub. Li-Cycle expects to provide further commentary on the Portovesme Hub during its 2023 first-quarter earnings conference call on May 15, 2023.
About Li-Cycle Holdings Corp.
Li-Cycle (NYSE: LICY) is on a mission to leverage its innovative Spoke & Hub Technologies™ to provide a customer-centric, end-of-life solution for lithium-ion batteries, while creating a secondary supply of battery-grade materials. Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are increasingly powering our world in automotive, energy storage, consumer electronics, and other industrial and household applications. The world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better manage battery manufacturing waste and end-of-life batteries and to meet the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade raw materials through a closed-loop solution. For more information, visit www.li-cycle.com.
Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 60 commodities that advance everyday life. Through a network of assets, customers and suppliers that spans the globe, we produce, process, recycle, source, market and distribute the commodities that support decarbonisation while meeting the energy needs of today.
With around 140,000 employees and contractors and a strong footprint in over 35 countries in both established and emerging regions for natural resources, Glencore’s marketing and industrial activities are supported by a global network of more than 40 offices.
Glencore’s customers are industrial consumers, such as those in the automotive, steel, power generation, battery manufacturing and oil sectors. Glencore also provides financing, logistics and other services to producers and consumers of commodities.
Glencore is proud to be a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Council on Mining and Metals. Glencore is an active participant in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
Glencore recognises its responsibility to contribute to the global effort to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement by decarbonising its own operational footprint. Glencore believes that it should take a holistic approach and has considered its commitment through the lens of its global industrial emissions. Against a 2019 baseline, Glencore is committed to reducing its Scope 1, 2 and 3 industrial emissions by 15% by the end of 2026, 50% by the end of 2035 and has an ambition to achieve net zero industrial emissions by the end of 2050.
For more detail, see Glencore’s 2022 Climate Report on the publication page of its website at glencore.com/publications.