Aqua Metals Initiates $33M Loan Agreement To Fund Commercial-Scale Lithium Battery Recycling Plant

Nevada-based Aqua Metals AQMS has taken a critical step toward launching its first commercial-scale lithium battery recycling operation. In a press release on May 15, the company said it signed a non-binding term sheet with "one of the world's largest privately held companies." The $33 million credit facility would complete phase one of the company's Sierra AquaRefining Campus (ARC).

The signing of the agreement comes after Aqua Metals also completed an equity raise of approximately $8 million, which not only bolsters the company's balance sheet but is also an important pre-condition for the lender. The loan agreement also followed a thorough two-month review by the lender of the company's financial health, revenue potential and offtake and supply agreements.

An independent engineering report and lifecycle analysis was also recently carried out for Aqua Metals' technology by ICF International. The report validates the significant reductions in waste and greenhouse gas emissions made possible by the company's first-of-its-kind lithium battery recycling technology.

It should be noted that the loan agreement is non-binding and remains subject to due diligence and the negotiation of a final loan agreement.

The lender has requested anonymity until a final agreement has been signed. The press release mentions that the lending firm is investing heavily in a global portfolio of decarbonization technologies.

Sierra ARC Phase One

With the upcoming $33 million loan, Aqua Metals will have the funding necessary to complete phase one of the Sierra ARC. This phase involves renovating and upfitting an existing 20,000-square-foot building into a lithium battery recycling plant with the capacity to process 3,000 tons per year of feedstock material recovered from spent lithium-ion batteries and manufacturing scrap

The mineral outputs of the phase one facility – lithium carbonate, nickel, cobalt and other critical metals – will be equivalent to approximately 30,000 average-sized EV battery packs. After completion of the first phase, Aqua Metals plans to scale up production at the facility to more than 10,000 tonnes per year and build a circular supply chain for critical minerals essential for the burgeoning battery manufacturing industry in the United States.

Not only will the Sierra ARC be Aqua's first commercial-scale facility, but it will also be North America's first sustainable lithium battery recycling operation. The facility is scheduled to enter production this year.

The investment will allow Aqua Metals to boost its operational capacity and continue to develop its proprietary AquaRefining™ technology, which uses electricity to extract valuable metals from spent lithium and EV batteries, in contrast to traditional, pollutant-heavy recycling methods.

This electrified process significantly cuts CO2 emissions and chemical waste pollution, helping to combat climate change and preserve ecosystems.

"This agreement marks a significant milestone in securing the financial resources necessary to complete the Sierra ARC, which is pivotal to our strategy of establishing a closed-loop supply chain for battery recycling," said Aqua Metals CEO Steve Cotton. "This partnership will not only support our financial stability but also will reinforce our commitment to innovation and sustainability in the lithium battery recycling sector."

Featured photo by rivage on Unsplash.

This post contains sponsored content. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: GeneralAqua MetalsPartner ContentPublic Company Sponsored
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!