Battery cathode materials producer Pure Battery Technologies has appointed resource consulting firm, Worley as the Feasibility Engineering provider for its planned Western Australian (WA) cathode active materials and precursors (pCAM) Hub.
The Brisbane company has an existing refinery in Hagen, Germany and is developing the WA hub as part of plans to increase global production of 250,000 tonnes of pCAM materials by 2027.
A $460 million Midstream refinery hub is to be built near Kalgoorlie in partnership with Poseidon Nickel and will initially produce 50,000tpa of pCAM material per year – enough to produce around 500,000 lithium-ion EV batteries.
The project was announced as the recipient of a $119 million modern manufacturing initiative grant from the previous federal government.
PBT’s pCAM hub will be the first facility of its kind in Australia and will focus on the production of nickel, manganese and cobalt, vital precursor inputs for the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries.
PBT’s patented Selective Acid Leaching (SAL) and Combined Leaching (CL) processes can refine intermediate nickel and cobalt products more flexibly with a lower environmental footprint, according to PBT’s CEO Bjorn Zikarsky.
Zikarsky told @AuManufacturing: “Compared to typical pCAM production processes, our advanced processing technology uses clever chemistry to reduce CO2 emissions by between 70 and 85 per cent, making the batteries 6/12kgCO2/kWh less carbon-intensive.”
He said the Kalgoorlie facility would have the capacity to double its production within five years of being operational and will place Australia at the forefront of sustainable, environmentally-sound refining practices.
“The WA pCAM Hub will take Australian technology and commercialise it on a global scale.
“This is Australian technology addressing a global demand, using advanced Australian manufacturing and sustainable downstream processing facilities.
“The Kalgoorlie pCAM hub is ground-breaking in terms of the green technology it will use and its role in the future of domestic and overseas EV markets.”
PBT can also use its technology to recycle battery Black Mass.
PBT’s COO Ms Marie Cyprien said the intent of the Worley study was to align with finance requirements, initiate approvals, establish long lead contracts and set the project up for success in construction and production ramp up phases.
Ms Cyprien said: “The signing of this contract is an important step in realising our WA pCAM Hub. This feasibility study is the foundation for not only the WA project but for our future pCAM hubs.”
Picture: Pure Battery Technologies/Bjorn Zikarsky
Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.