National initiative launched to support a circular economy for the UK battery market

Technology Minerals PLC (Technology Minerals), the first listed UK company focused on creating a sustainable circular economy for battery metals, has announced that it has signed a partnership agreement with Slicker Recycling Limited (Slicker Recycling) to further its vision of creating a circular economy for the UK battery market. 

The agreement between Technology Minerals and Slicker Recycling (the ‘Partnership’) launches a national initiative with the aim of revolutionising the UK capability for battery recycling from dangerous, small-scale manual operations to recycling safely and sustainably on an industrial scale — a necessary development for the UK to reach its climate targets.  

Slicker Recycling, which has 13 depots nationwide and executes more than 25,000 collections per annum, will collect battery waste from around the UK and safely transport it to the closest Recyclus plant. Technology Minerals owns 49 per cent of Recyclus, a battery-recycling business with innovative technology that can safely salvage key materials from spent batteries to produce black mass (consisting of cobalt, nickel, lithium, and manganese). These recycled raw materials can then subsequently be fed back into the market for reuse and resale. Recyclus will also test the safety of the batteries to determine whether they should be re-used or repurposed. 

The Partnership will form a key driver in Technology Minerals’ growth strategy and aim to increase its recycling capacity in 2022 for lead-acid batteries to 16,000 tonnes per annum, and 5,000 tonnes per annum for lithium-ion batteries. 

Alex Stanbury, chief executive officer of Technology Minerals, said: “We are delighted to launch this national initiative for battery recycling in the UK and partner with Slicker Recycling, one of the UK’s largest waste collectors. The Partnership will help ramp up our recycling capacity for both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries and builds on our strategy and goal to help tackle the critical upcoming supply shortages of the key minerals being used to drive the global transition to electric vehicles. 

“Technology Minerals and Slicker Recycling recognise the market need for an integrated, strategic waste management partnership, and this end-to-end logistical solution furthers both our interests in addressing the UK’s battery waste crisis. It is vital that companies work together to expand homegrown waste management solutions if the UK is to achieve its 2050 net-zero target. 

Mark Olpin, managing director of Slicker Recycling, said: “Diversifying into new and innovative markets is a key part of our growth plans and our link-up with Technology Minerals is a vital partnership to kick-start an effective, circular economy solution for the UK’s growing battery market. 

“The raw materials extracted from the used batteries collected as part of this partnership will go back into the industry as part of a closed-loop solution. This is especially welcome at a time when electric car production and ownership is at its highest ever level, with that trend set to continue on a steep curve, therefore needing sustainable solutions to keep it moving and growing. We have strong credentials in the automotive sector so this partnership is the perfect fit at a time when both our organisations are firmly focused on the circular economy and how we preserve finite resources. 

“Overall, we are delighted to be at the forefront of this forward-thinking partnership which is an example of how companies can join up their expertise for the good of the planet.” 

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