St-Georges Eco-Mining Corp. announced that its wholly owned battery recycling subsidiary, EVSX Corp., has entered into a binding agreement with the Italian company AraBat SRL, to establish a joint venture to build an industrial battery processing plant in the Italian region of Puglia, where AraBat’s operations are located.
Agreement for Joint Venture
The future partners agreed to work on a final agreement to be executed in the first quarter of 2024 that calls for establishing an Italian jointly-owned corporation. That entity would qualify for Italian permitting and be eligible for Italian and European governmental subsidies and financial support for recycling operations.
The partners expect the joint venture to be majority Italian-owned (51%), with EVSX owning the balance (49%) and retaining ownership of its processing circuit. Both partners will be able to extend the agreement to then contribute their respective eco-technologies for processing critical minerals concentrate, also known as blackmass, resulting from the batteries processing operations depending on the particular critical minerals concentrate chemistry available at the time.
“We are excited about this path we are charting with St-Georges Eco-Mining and EVSX. Moving towards the pre-treatment of batteries in Puglia (Italy) will allow us to cover a significant market gap and build a circular supply chain that will allow us to surpass our current competitors in speed and strategy. This agreement is just the beginning of a great future in the name of sustainability: we at AraBat have set ourselves very ambitious objectives, and with our Canadian partners, we are sure that we can have our say in the current global panorama.” commented Raffaele Nacchiero, CEO of AraBat SRL.
AraBat would be responsible for securing the plant’s location, obtaining the permitting and the regional governments financial support, and solidifying battery allocation contracts.
The Italian industrial plant planned would have an initial capacity of 10,000 tons a year, and its costs are estimated at around 8 million euros. St-Georges and EVSX would contribute in kind via one of its ready-to-install industrial circuits, with expertise, and via a profit-sharing agreement in the transition period preceding the opening of the Italian industrial unit.
“All the technologies within the consortium are considered to be efficient and world-class for environmental footprint. This is an exciting time for both companies, and the approach allows for revenue generation more rapidly for both groups within Europe and allows growth throughout Italy and across Europe from the base in Puglia. The consortium will have a unique approach from battery preparation, hydrometallurgy, and pyrometallurgy for different batteries collected that is intended to be applied in North America and Europe.” commented Enrico Di Cesare, CEO of EVSX
The joint venture will initially collect batteries and then process them at EVSX’s Canadian plant in Thorold, Ontario, Canada. Subsidies and net profits obtained for the Italian batteries being processed at this stage will be set aside to finance the operations of the newly formed joint venture.
In the future, the European battery allocation provided by AraBat or sourced by EVSX in Southern Europe would be expected to be processed at the Puglia plant with the exception of certain types of specialized chemistries that require a specific setup like the one to be installed at EVSX’s Thorold plant.
Source: The Newswire