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- Lithium Australia’s 90%-owned Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd has been awarded an operating licence for battery recycling by EPA Victoria.
- The operating licence allows Envirostream to reprocess more than 500 tonnes of specified electronic waste annually
- The rollout of a national battery stewardship scheme could further increase the volume of spent batteries available for recycling.
In a significant update, Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT) announced that its 90%-owned Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd has been awarded a 99-year operating licence for battery recycling by EPA Victoria. The operating licence provides a legal and environmental framework for Envirostream Australia to continue battery recycling undertakings at its premises in Campbellfield, Victoria.
The operating licence also allows Envirostream to reprocess over 500 tonnes per annum of specified electronic waste, including batteries.
This 99-year licence is subject to several conditions, including installation of firewall protection systems and thermal-imaging cameras to detect and manage any fire incidents. Furthermore, conditions related to air emission are also stipulated.
Envirostream is an onshore, mixed-battery recycling company, with ability to collect, sort, shred and separate all the components of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and single-use alkaline batteries.
As part of the process of obtaining the operating licence, Lithium Australia and Envirostream Australia worked collaboratively to develop specific, in-house improvements that beef up safety across different stages, such as the collection, storage and processing of spent batteries. Moreover, their efforts were also inclined towards further reducing any fire risk associated with recycling.
Envirostream also works closely with the appropriate regulatory bodies to ensure the strong performance of its management systems and safety and environmental procedures, exceeding industry-accepted standards. It thereby minimises the risk to local communities.
In July 2019, Victoria banned the disposal of spent batteries to landfills as toxic materials present in many batteries can pollute soil, groundwater and waterways.
As the only mixed battery recycler in Australia, Envirostream is committed to diverting battery material from landfills to the fullest extent and improving the industry’s sustainability through the creation of a circular battery economy.
Meanwhile, the rollout of a national battery stewardship scheme could further increase the volume of spent batteries available for recycling. Scheduled to kick off in January 2022, the scheme would collect a levy on each new battery sold and use the funds to subsidise the collection and processing of end-of-life batteries.
Meanwhile, LIT has highlighted that a change-of-land-use application for the Berwick Road premises is underway at the Hume City Council. Envirostream has complied with all requests for information from the council, and anticipates that this application will also be approved.
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