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Hereaus and BASF set up Chinese hub for automotive precious metals

German recycler Heraeus and chemical company BASF have launched a joint venture to recover precious metals from spent automotive catalysts. The new company named is called BASF HERAEUS (China) Metal Resource Co., Ltd and will be operating from Pinghu, China.

Construction is planned to begin in the next few months, with operations to start in 2023. The recycling facility, which will also target platinum group metals, will contribute to the advancement of the local economy through the creation of 100 new jobs. The business partners underline that recycling precious metals from scrap sources has a 90% lower CO2 footprint than primary metals from a mine.

‘This partnership builds on our already strong presence in China within the wet-chemical recycling industry,’ says Marius Vigener, vice president Business Line Chemicals at Heraeus Precious Metals. ‘Recycled precious metals help minimise emissions and will enable our customers to reduce their CO2 footprint. This will support China in the development of its circular economy and contribute significantly to the stability of local precious metal supplies.’

‘Through the partnership with Heraeus, we will bring best-in-class pyrometallurgy technology for the recovery of precious metals from spent automotive catalysts in China and help improve resource utilisation for high-tech and other companies that use precious metals,’ comments Tim Ingle, vice president BASF Precious Metals Refining, Chemicals & Battery Recycling.

Heraeus opened a US$ 120 million (EUR 105.7 million) state-of-the-art precious metals plant in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, back in 2018.

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