March 16, 2023: American Battery Technology Company (ABTC) has acquired a former Aqua Metals facility in Nevada in a $27 million deal to launch a lithium ion battery recycling operation, the company said on March 8.
ABTC has acquired the 137,000 ft2 facility in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) from Comstock, majority owner of lithium recycler LiNiCo, which originally had a lease-to-buy arrangement for the site with Aqua Metals.
Aqua Metals bought a 10% stake in LiNiCo in 2021 as part of a move into lithium recycling and LiNiCo had already agreed the lease-to-buy deal for the former lead-based AquaRefining facility.
Last month, Aqua Metals said it would build its own 10,000 tonne-per-year lithium battery recycling campus and it plans to start phased development later this year, based on the design of its pilot TRIC facility.
Comstock executive chairman and CEO Corrado De Gasperis said: “The sale of this asset was opportunistic and strategic since we secured our permitted 200-acre battery metal storage facility in Mound House, Nevada, and recently freed up our existing Storey County operating platform and facilities with the termination of the lease with Tonogold.”
An ABTC spokesperson told Batteries International it would be operating the facility alone and had no collaboration with LiNiCo.
The spokesperson declined to give a start-up date for the facility, but said construction, commissioning, and operations were of the highest priority.
“ABTC has significantly increased the resources devoted to its execution including the further internal hiring of technical staff, expansion of laboratory facilities, and purchasing of equipment.”
The facility is already equipped with necessary infrastructure equipment including electrical distribution, compressed air, nitrogen, water treatment, material handling, analytical quality control, and operational control rooms necessary to implement ABTC’s internally-developed lithium ion battery recycling technologies, the spokesperson said.