Nevada-based Aqua Metals Inc. says it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Taiwan-based ACME Metal Enterprise Co. Ltd. to deploy and license AquaRefining equipment at ACME’s facility in Keelung, Taiwan.
The LOI provides 60 days to finalize the definitive agreement and includes terms for licensing and what Aqua Metals calls “a phased deployment” of Aqua Metals’ AquaRefining technology. The LOI also includes provisions for the joint development of processing AquaRefined briquettes into “battery ready oxide material with a global battery manufacturer to be named later.”
ACME currently refines lead bullion into lead alloys for sale to global battery manufacturers. With the proposed addition of AquaRefining, ACME would add the capability to produce what Aqua Metals calls “ultra-high purity AquaRefined briquettes” for use in oxide production.
Through ACME’s relationships with its current battery manufacturing customers, ACME and Aqua Metals propose to establish a partnership to develop a process for converting AquaRefined briquettes into lead oxide utilizing a ball mill.
As previously announced, Aqua Metals says it has developed a process for converting briquettes into lead oxide through the Barton pot method (melting). With the addition of the ball mill process (grinding), AquaRefining would have the potential to produce oxide using the only two industry-standard processes available.
“We are pleased ACME has agreed in principle to be the first Asia Pacific (APAC) licensee and a partner in developing the ball mill oxide process,” says Steve Cotton, Aqua Metals president and CEO. “This is a great opportunity to establish AquaRefining as the only proven green method for recycling lead in the largest and fastest-growing lead recycling market in the world.”
Comment Linus Lu, managing director of ACME, “This partnership allows ACME to expand its business relationships with large battery manufacturers and establish itself as the first green tech lead recycler in Asia. We are excited to initiate the transformation of the lead recycling industry in APAC and look forward to working with Aqua Metals as we scale production and develop our oxide process.”
Aqua Metals describes itself as “reinventing metals recycling with its patented hydrometallurgical AquaRefining technology.” The company describes AquaRefining as a “room temperature, water-based process that emits less pollution.