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Aqua Metals and Yulho to establish EV battery recycling operations in South Korea

EV battery recycler Aqua Metals has entered into a strategic partnership with South Korean battery materials company Yulho.

Yulho will make a strategic equity investment of $5 million in Aqua Metals, and Aqua will grant Yulho a license to deploy its patented AquaRefining technology in South Korea.

Yulho has been around for 25 years, and has established relationships with the country’s largest battery and EV firms. Through its subsidiary, Yulho Materials, the company collects and processes battery manufacturing scrap and spent lithium-ion batteries into black mass—the mixture of lithium, nickel, cobalt and other valuable battery materials that Aqua Metals’ process is designed to recover.

Yulho Materials previously completed a pilot demonstration of its own proprietary black mass process, and has provided exceptional quality material samples to Aqua Metals. Yulho is currently building a black mass facility with an annual capacity of 8,000 metric tons, where it expects to commence production later this year, and plans to expand to 24,000 tons of capacity in the future.

Aqua Metals currently operates a battery recycling facility in the US, where it uses its AquaRefining technology to recover the metals and minerals contained in black mass without the use of polluting furnaces or intensive chemical processes that produce excessive carbon emissions and chemical waste.

“Given that each company excels in pre-processing and post-processing fields, we anticipate significant synergy resulting from this partnership,” said Yulho CEO Lee Jeong-nam. “We aim to expand our business model beyond a simple technology swap and joint venture establishment. Together, both companies will pursue collaborative ventures, elevating our business model.”

Aqua Metals recently announced an offering of more than 15 million shares of common stock at $1.10 per share, bringing the total proceeds of the company’s two recent offerings to $22 million.

“We believe our recently announced public equity raise, alongside our strategic financing and proposed partnership with Yulho, signifies a transformative moment for Aqua Metals,” said Aqua Metals CEO Steve Cotton. “We expect this to be a pivotal step in our long-term vision for global growth, accelerating our commercial operations here in the United States, and bringing our AquaRefining technology to South Korea.”

Source: Aqua Metals

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