Düsseldorf, March 09, 2021

Primobius signs MoU with Itochu on long-term cooperation in lithium-ion battery recycling

Significant milestone in building up pipeline of potential feedstocks for future commercial operations

This agreement provides a framework to evaluate Primobius’ technology and commercial arrangements to recycle Itochu’s end-of-life batteries. Itochu to supply stationary energy storage batteries for a dedicated Primobius demonstration plant trial, and products generated during the trial will be evaluated by Itochu and its supply chain.

Primobius GmbH, a joint venture company owned 50:50 by Neometals Ltd. and SMS group GmbH to commercialise an environmentally friendly recycling solution for end-of-life and scrap lithium-ion-battery (LiB) cells, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Itochu Corporation.

Itochu is a Japanese multi-national trading company with a strong footprint along the entire battery value chain including supply of materials and equipment to battery manufacturers and stationary energy storage systems.

The MoU provides an evaluation framework towards establishing a cooperation for battery recycling, under which Primobius contributes its LiB material processing capabilities in Germany. Itochu will supply the stationary energy storage batteries and Primobius will operate a demonstration plant trial campaign dedicated to the Itochu feed, to generate recycled products for analysis by Itochu and cathode makers in Itochu’s supply chain.

Under the MoU, Primobius and Itochu will enter into discussions about formal long-term cooperation agreements. This is another milestone for Primobius in building up a pipeline of potential critical feedstocks for future commercial operations.

Primobius and Itochu have commenced business planning discussions and Primobius has preparations underway for a dedicated demonstration plant trial. It is intended that future binding legal agreements will encapsulate sales of recycled product to establish a circular economy for Itochu based on the use of Primobius recycling technology.

The Primobius demonstration plant is scheduled to commence operation at the SMS group location in Hilchenbach in the third quarter of 2021. The campaign to process Itochu stationary energy storage batteries would follow the maiden campaign on electric vehicle batteries. This MoU is effective until 31 December 2022.

Primobius Supervisory Board Member Chris Reed commented: 
“We remain highly encouraged by the fast commercial progress being made by Primobius. Itochu has a global footprint, over 100,000 staff and holds multiple positions along the battery value chain, from raw materials, battery manufacturing equipment to complete stationary energy storage systems for residential and commercial applications. This is significant milestone for Primobius as we build our pipeline of potential critical feedstocks for future commercial operations.”



ITOCHU is a Japanese multinational trading company, headquartered in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan and. is engaging in domestic trading, import/export, and overseas trading of various products such as textile, machinery, metals, minerals, energy, chemicals, food, general products, realty, information and communications technology, and finance, as well as business investment in Japan and overseas.
ITOCHU has a strong footprint along the entire battery value chain including but not limited to supplying of battery raw materials, equipment for battery production, battery systems and battery storage systems.

Primobius is the result of a joint venture partnership between Australian Stock Exchange listed company Neometals Ltd. and private German engineering and technology company, SMS group. Primobius is to commercialize advanced recycling technology, offering a unique and sustainable method for recovering valuable lithium, nickel, cobalt and other materials from expended and scrap electric vehicles and consumer electronics LiB’s. Recovered and refined product materials will be reformed and re-applied back into the battery supply chain.