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Australia and South Korea tie-up for lithium-ion recycling 

Lithium Australia’s battery recycling unit Envirostream has signed a deal with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution to process 250 tonnes of its lithium-ion batteries over the next year.

Under the agreement, as reported by Reuters, LG Energy will deliver the end-of-life batteries sourced in Australia to Envirostream’s facilities in Melbourne. Lithium Australia says the volumes will be nearly a quarter of the 1 090 tonnes collected during the 2022 fiscal year. The partnership runs until 31 August next year and will continue on a rolling six-monthly basis.

Lithium Australia fully acquired Envirostream this April, citing battery supply shortages and surging prices for battery materials as driving factors. The subsidiary recovers 95% of materials from spent batteries and has recycled more than 85 tonnes of LG Energy’s batteries since 2018.

Envirostream says it expects a significant increase next year in processing volumes compared to 2022 as a result of the deal. Steady growth is partly because Envirostream added more than 100 battery collection sites across Australia earlier this year following an agreement with Battery World Australia.

Australia is thought to generate around 3 000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery waste every year of which less than 5% is recycled. It is hoped such partnerships between industry leaders will boost the figures in the coming years.

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