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Sumitomo Metal Mining Plans Construction of Recycling Facilities for Lithium Ion Batteries
Sumitomo Metal Mining Plans Construction of Recycling Facilities for Lithium Ion Batteries

Sumitomo Metal Mining Plans Construction of Recycling Facilities for Lithium Ion Batteries

  • 02-Apr-2024 3:09 PM
  • Journalist: Jai Sen

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. (TSE: 5713) has opted to establish recycling facilities at the Toyo Smelter & Refinery in Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan, and the Niihama Nickel Refinery in Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. These facilities are designated to recover copper, nickel, cobalt, and lithium from used lithium-ion batteries (LIB) and other materials. The construction of these plants is scheduled to commence in the fiscal year 2024 (from April 2024 to March 2025) and is expected to be completed by June 2026. The projected processing capacity of the plants is aimed at handling approximately 10,000 tons of LIB cells annually.

Concurrently with the construction of these recycling plants, Sumitomo Metal Mining has forged partnership agreements with leading recycling firms to establish an all-encompassing recycling supply chain. This strategic initiative is geared towards expediting the development of a collection system for used LIBs in collaboration with its partners. Sumitomo Metal Mining has actively pursued the advancement of "battery-to-battery" recycling, a process involving the extraction of metals from used LIBs and intermediate materials derived from LIB production to generate battery materials. Through collaborative endeavors and process integration with Kanto Denka Kogyo Co., Ltd. in 2022, Sumitomo Metal Mining has developed LIB recycling technology for the recovery and reutilization of copper, nickel, cobalt, and lithium.

The forthcoming LIB recycling plants will streamline the efficient processing of used LIBs, which frequently contain various impurities, by employing a combination of pyrometallurgical smelting and hydrometallurgical refining techniques. The design of these plants factors in the anticipated surge in used LIBs and adheres to the metal recovery rate and recycled material inclusion rate specified in the EU Battery Regulation enforced since August 2023. Moreover, the plants incorporate Sumitomo Metal Mining's proprietary technology to curb CO2 emissions, with ongoing efforts directed towards further technological enhancement and optimization to curtail the company's carbon footprint.

The construction of these plants garners support from the Green Innovation Fund Project, an initiative launched by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a Japanese national research and development corporation. Sumitomo Metal Mining remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing its initiatives aimed at establishing a robust LIB recycling system, thereby contributing to the realization of a sustainable circular economy.

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. is engaged in the exploration and extraction of non-ferrous metals. The company specializes in the production and distribution of copper, gold, nickel, and various other valuable metals. Sumitomo Metal Mining caters to a diverse clientele worldwide.

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