Iondrive raises $2m to advance sustainable ion-battery recycling technology

Iondrive raises $2m to advance sustainable ion-battery recycling technology

Photo: Possessed Photography via Unsplash

Battery recycling technology company Iondrive (ASX: ION) has raised $2 million to advance its new technology offering a more sustainable solution to recycling lithium-ion batteries, with support coming from new and existing shareholders.

This is the first capital raising for Iondrive, a company formerly known as Southern Gold, since it acquired Iondrive Technologies last year in a move it described at the time as “participating in a sustainable future".

The placement comprises the issue of 222.22 million shares at 0.9c per share, with cornerstone participation from existing major shareholders Strata Investment Holdings Plc and Ilwella Pty Ltd, which Iondrive says underlines shareholder support for the recycling technology.

The funds will be used to finalise a pre-feasibility study ahead of plans to develop a pilot plant for the technology, which was developed in partnership with the University of Adelaide.

“We are excited by the progress we have made so far and the promising results emerging from our battery recycling technology,” says Iondrive CEO Ebbe Dommisse.

“We are particularly encouraged by the recent recognition locally from the Australian government and regions abroad - UK government, EU and USA – of the importance of advancing battery recycling technologies to support a sustainable future.”

Iondrive’s hydrometallurgical battery recycling technology aims to address the "inefficiencies, hazards and high costs" associated with traditional lithium-ion battery recycling methods.

The technology uses a provisionally patented organic solvents-based closed-loop process to separate critical components such as lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese from battery black mass.

The company says the process is environmentally safe as it does not use high temperatures or corrosive acids, leading to a “much smaller environmental footprint” than conventional processes. 

Iondrive recently completed large-scale bench trials at the University of Adelaide, which are being verified at Independent Metallurgical Operations in Perth.

The company is expecting the results to be finalised next month which it says is crucial for generating process data needed for the pilot plant's design and economic modelling.

While Iondrive remains focused on its battery recycling technology, the company retains its mining portfolio when it was a pure resources play as Southern Gold, including an exploration portfolio comprising brownfield and greenfield gold-silver-copper projects in southern South Korea, and lithium projects in central and northern South Korea.

The company last year rebranded as Iondrive in line with a strategic focus on “downstream battery technologies and exploration for minerals critical to the clean energy transition”.

Iondrive says it is actively de-risking its execution strategy by exploring business models that include collaborations with potential industrial partners.

“Options such as licensing agreements and toll manufacturing are being explored to ensure the most efficient and profitable paths to market are chosen,” says the company.

Shares in Iondrive were up 30 per cent this morning, closing well above the 0.9c issue price of the capital raise at 1.3c by 11.18am (AEST).

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