Ontario Construction News staff writer
Electra says it has signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with the Three Fires Group for a joint venture focused on recycling lithium-ion battery waste in Ontario.
“We are excited by the opportunity to work with the Three Fires Group and solve a pressing challenge of the EV battery supply chain, namely how to recycle and repurpose battery waste,” said Trent Mell, CEO of Electra. “Our joint-venture will pave the way for producers of various lithium-ion batteries and energy storage equipment in Ontario to reduce their waste, reuse high-value and increasingly scarce commodities like nickel and cobalt, and lower carbon emissions in their manufacturing activities.”
Under the joint venture, Electra and the Three Fires Group will source and process lithium-ion battery waste generated by manufacturers of current and future battery cells, electric vehicles, and energy storage systems. The waste will be processed at a facility to be built in southern Ontario to produce black mass material that will be further refined using Electra’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process at its refinery complex north of Toronto to recover high value elements, including lithium, nickel, copper, manganese, and graphite.
“The Three Fires Group has developed an Indigenous leadership position in fostering the transition to clean, sustainable energy through its relationships with federal and provincial agencies and various clean energy providers,” Mell said. “Working with the Three Fires Group will allow us to get access to a steady stream of black mass material and address the growing demand for critical minerals.”
As part of the MOU, Electra and the Three Fires Group have agreed to work together to secure a net-zero industrial facility that can be used to shred and separate lithium-ion batteries and produce black mass material. They also agreed to collaborate on the development of economic studies of sourcing of engineering, procurement, construction, and management requirements necessary to launch the battery waste recycling facility.
Several electric vehicle facilities are planned across the treaty areas of the Three Fires Confederacy in southwestern Ontario, including recent announcements by the Volkswagen Group, LG-Stellantis, Toyota and GM CAMI.