- LIT has confirmed following a newspaper article that it follows the best environmentally friendly and sustainable process.
- LIT states that Envirostream is a market leader in the battery recycling industry; it is better than its competitors and ensures safety in the entire recycling process.
- Envirostream stated that it is not required to hold an EPA licence yet as it operates below the 500tpa of specified waste processing rate.
- For one of Envirostream Melbourne premises to operate at above 500tpa of specified waste, it applied for an EPA Victoria work permit on 11 September 2020.
- Envirostream is under discussion with local councils for rectifying permits for two of its facilities in Melbourne.
Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd, a 90% owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT) has clarified its stand following a newspaper article published in the Melbourne Age raising questions on its practices. Envirostream, the expert company in battery recycling, confirms that it follows the best practices in the industry and has announced the safety, environmental and permitting improvements around their expanding operations.
The background of the environmental issue
The disposal of batteries to landfill contain toxic materials capable of contaminating soil, groundwater and waterways. Victoria has banned such disposal to protect the environment. Envirostream, the only mixed battery recycler in the country is diverting the maximum amount of material from landfill to improve the sustainability of the battery industry by building the circular economy.
Envirostream - An specialist in the battery recycling process
Image Source: © Kalkine Group 2020, data source: ASX announcement dated 29 September 2020
Ensures safety: Envirostream, the world leader in safety procedures, transport and environmental risk assessment, manages the complete battery recycling process expertly - from transportation, handling and discharge to the materials recovery. The company operates Country's only mixed-battery recycling facilities in Melbourne and provides sound and environmentally informed solutions to battery disposal. LIT states that Envirostream offers a safe, effective, cost-efficient and sustainable solution to the recycling of end-of-life batteries.
Better than competitors: Envirostream recycles over 90% of the battery materials processed, very high compared with overseas competitors which roast the batteries. Unlike its competitors, Envirostream's low-temperature processing, recovers volatile components, including plastics and electrolytes, resulting in lower carbon emissions and much higher mass yields.
Materials recovered include copper-containing components (wire and transformers), steel, and aluminium. It also recovers battery electrode materials as mixed metal dust ('MMD') comprising manganese, lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite. The MMD is delivered to Envirostream's MMD offtake partners for additional refining for effective recycling of battery materials for use in new batteries.
Worksafe Victoria never issued any breach notices to the company: LIT also stated that Worksafe Victoria visits Envirostream's current premises on several occasions to review it's safety practices, and it has never issued any breach notices to the company.
Explanation on EPA licence - working closely with EPA to demonstrate the best practices
Envirostream stated that it is not required for it to hold an EPA licence to operate as it has not been working at above 500 tonnes per annum (tpa) of specified waste at any of its Melbourne sites. The company continues to operate at below the 500tpa of specified waste processing rate.
Envirostream has taken measures to reduce the volume of stock levels at each of its premises. Moreover, EPA has visited the company's premises and has not issued any breach notices to Envirostream.
Furthermore, for one of Envirostream Melbourne premises to operate at above 500tpa of specified waste, the company applied for an EPA Victoria work permit on 11 September 2020. This premise is expected to grow in terms of recycling volumes and battery collection.
Envirostream is working very closely with the EPA in its recycling process to confirm industry best practice and awarding of an extended work permit in advance of that capacity being required.
Envirostream discussing with the local council for the correct permits
The company advises it has been served breach notices on 8 July 2020 by the local council for not having the appropriate council planning permits on two of its facilities in Melbourne.
Being a responsible company, Envirostream acted promptly and has been in ongoing discussions with the local council to apply for the correct permits to operate in the coming days. Envirostream and the local council are working together to mitigate risks and keeping the operations functioning at both facilities. The local council has approved an extension for the lodgment of Envirostream’s further permit applications which will be placed later this week.
The company continues to process all lithium-ion battery inventories to minimise any possible risks of fire and safety. The current expectation is that it will process 80t of material in this quarter. The rectification is taking more time due to COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne and is expected between 30 and 60 days.
Bottom line: Envirostream works closely with the regulatory bodies to ensure that its management systems, safety and environmental procedures are better than the industry set standards. The company is committed for Australia safe, environmentally friendly and the most sustainable practice in battery recycling.
Stocks performance: On 29 September 2020, LIT closed its day's trade at AUD 0.054, up by 3.846 per cent.
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