Comstock Mining has taken a 64% ownership stake in LiNiCo for US$10.75 million, while Aqua Metals is investing US$2 million for a 10% stake.
LiNiCo will use the proceeds to increase its direct strategic investment in Green Li-ion, which has developed process equipment, with exclusive rights for the US market, that enable the production of 99.9% pure lithium-ion cathodes.
LiNiCo recently acquired a battery metal recycling facility from Aqua Metals in the Tahoe Reno Industrial centre in Storey County, Nevada.
LiNiCo's chief executive and founder Michael Vogel commented, "Our agreements accelerate the race towards reducing carbon emissions by valorising critical metals and supporting the increasingly high demand for electric vehicles (EVs). Aligning ourselves with Comstock, Green Li-ion and Aqua Metals creates a unique ecosystem of complementary companies."
The LiNiCo facility in Nevada was designed for separating battery materials into black mass (the material left after mechanical removal of plastics, aluminium and copper), while Green Li-ion's technology has been designed to convert black mass into battery grade metals.
"We are very pleased to work with Aqua Metals through our lease-to-buy agreement for the McCarran recycling facility, Aqua Metals' investment in LiNiCo, and our participation in the eco-network," said Vogel.
Steve Cotton, president and CEO of Aqua Metals said that according to Yole Développement, there will be about 705,000 tonnes of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries by 2025, and by 2040 they will hit 9 million tonnes per year.
"We believe a collaboration strategy with innovative companies that have multi-disciplinary backgrounds in metals, mining, high volume throughput, and hydrometallurgy is the best approach to solving the sustainability challenge of metals recycling," said Cotton.
Comstock Mining's stock rose 210% on the investment news to reach US$6.94.