Glencore to recycle batteries in Iberian Peninsular

Commodity trader and mining company Glencore intends to partner two companies to tackle what it describes as one of the biggest medium- to long-term challenges in the battery sector: recycling lithium-ion batteries through establishment of a purpose-built plant. 

The Switzerland-based group’s partners in Spain and Portugal will be industrial and commercial waste management company FCC Ambito and renewable energy company Iberdrola. 

The trio have already assessed existing battery recycling capabilities and feed availability in the region and plan to combine their know-how for comprehensive recycling and second-life repurposing of lithium-ion batteries primarily from gigafactory production scrap and end-of-life batteries. The volume of material involved in Spain is expected to be around 35,000 t/y by 2035. 

The alliance supports Glencore’s ambition to grow its recycling business in new markets, said the group’s head of recycling, Kunal Sinha. “We view production scrap as well as post-consumer materials as a valuable resource that will help supply the increasing demand for critical metals in support of the energy transition and the world’s net zero ambition.” 

A site has yet to be identified in Spain or Portugal for the recycling plant which will separate feed material into distinct streams for downstream refining and recovery of battery metals.  

Glencore runs the world’s largest zinc refinery, the 550,000 t/y-plus San Juan de Neiva plant, in northern Spain. 

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