Tens of thousands of tons of lithium, nickel and cobalt to be recycled in Sardinia.
Swiss rawmaterials group Glencore and Canadian enterprise Li-Cycle, which is specialized in battery recycling, plan to develop Europe’s largest battery recycling hub. An existing Glencore metal processing plant in Sardinia will be repurposed to process lithium, nickel and cobalt for reuse in batteries for electric cars, for example, using technology from Li-Cycle. The two companies made the announcement in a joint statement. The project is intended to support Italy’s and Europe’s ambitions to be world leaders in the circular economy, said Kunal Sinha, global head of recycling at Glencore.
If the initial planned feasibility study is positive, the factory could begin operations in late 2026 to early 2027. The intended annual processing capacity is 50,000 to 70,000 metric tons of so-called black mass from battery scrap. The necessary used batteries are to be collected in so-called spokes. As reported by Handelsblatt, Li-Cycle plans to establish a global network of these collection points; in Germany, a site near Magdeburg is planned.
Glencore operates cobalt and nickel mines, among others, but extracts lithium exclusively through recycling and entered this business last year due to growing global demand for e-cars. The mining group is also a strategic investor in Li-Cycle.