Houston-based Global Clean Energy Inc. (GCE) has announced it is in the final stages of its due diligence subsequent to an executed agreement to acquire a nonferrous scrap metal and catalytic recycling company in the United States.
The company, which will be majority owned by GCE, will focus on becoming a major aggregator of spent catalytic converters from end of life vehicles (ELV), which are rich in platinum group precious metals (PGM) (platinum, palladium and rhodium). GCE says PGM from used auto catalysts can be highly and efficiently recovered through a state of the art smelting process. GCE says it will be purchasing smelting technology to operate the recovery process.
Brian Levine, GCE’s COO, says he expects the deal to be complete within three months. In the meantime, due to the relative small size of the precious metals sector he says that is opting to keep the name of the company being acquired confidential.
Auto catalysts, which reduce toxic emissions in automobiles, use substantial amounts of platinum and palladium and are the largest source of demand for PGM followed by the jewelry industry and industrial applications, according to GCE. Auto catalyst canisters are fitted in more than 95 percent of new passenger cars worldwide.
"We're not alone in this industry and for good reason," Levine notes. "PGM are essential industrial precious metals with world demand growing to the point that you'll need a telescope to see how high the price of platinum will go, according to industry experts."
Through its acquisition, GCE says it will operate a vertically integrated PGM recovery facility.
The company expects to have the smelting operation set up by the third quarter of 2016.