Moroccan Managem, Anglo-Swiss Glencore sign a strategic partnership for the production of cobalt in Morocco
The Moroccan mining group, Managem, and the Anglo-Swiss global commodity trading giant, Glencore, have signed a strategic partnership to produce cobalt from recycled battery materials, in Morocco, the two groups announced this Wednesday January 26 in a press release.
The partnership provides for the production of recycled cobalt, nickel and lithium at Managem’s CTT Hydrometallurgical Refinery at Guemssa, near Marrakech.
This partnership highlights Glencore’s and Managem’s commitments to support the electric vehicle industry in achieving its metals recycling targets.
Glencore and CTT (Compagnie de Tifnout Tighanimine) intend to enter into a 5-year tolling agreement for 1.200 tons (c.1.2kt) of recycled cobalt per year as well as Nickel Hydroxide and Lithium Carbonate.
“Demand for cobalt is expected to increase significantly in the next decade, largely driven by the green energy transition, most actors in the supply chain seek to ensure sustainably sourced materials and we strongly believe that recycling will play a crucial role in addressing this demand. Managem is fully engaged in supporting the global circular economy through cobalt, nickel and lithium at the same time as mining cobalt with the highest CSR standards. This partnership with Glencore represents an exciting step up in our development in this field.” declared Imad Toumi, Chairman & CEO of Managem.
Expressing satisfaction at the partnership with Managem, David Brocas, Head Cobalt Trader, Glencore, noted that “as the world seeks to address the challenge of climate change, primary/recycled cobalt and other future facing commodities are set to play a pivotal role in decarbonizing energy consumption and delivering the electric vehicle revolution.”
“Glencore is already a leading producer, recycler and supplier of these commodities, helping to underpin our ambition of achieving net zero total emissions by 2050,” he said.
The partnership is conditional on a feasibility study to assess the commercial viability of modifying and deploying the CTT Refinery for recovering cobalt, nickel and lithium from black mass – a refinery feed comprised of recycled lithium-ion batteries, the press release explained, noting that the feasibility study will focus on achieving high recoveries and a low carbon footprint. It is expected to be completed by the end of Q1 2022.
The CTT Hydrometallurgical plant will benefit from at least 90% green power (wind farms).
Glencore will leverage its long-established ability in sourcing and recycling cobalt and nickel bearing products at its Canadian (Sudbury) and Norwegian (Nikkelverk) operations to supply cobalt containing black mass to the CTT refinery.
Managem will provide the lithium-ion batteries recycling technology developed and tested in the pilot plant at the REMINEX R&D Centre. This technology enables a high recovery rate of cobalt, nickel and lithium from black mass.
Glencore will market the recycled products to its global network of portable electronics and automotive customers, as part of its continued commitment to support the transition to a low carbon economy, and to realise its own ambition of net zero total emissions by 2050.
This partnership builds on a shared commitment to a responsible cobalt supply chain through collective industry and multi-stakeholder platforms. Both Glencore and Managem participate in the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) Assurance Process for cobalt. Glencore’s KCC and Murrin Murrin and Managem’s Bou-Azzer and Compagnie de Tifnout Tiranimine (CTT) mines are all compliant. Both are also long-standing members of the Cobalt Institute, the press release recalled.