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Glencore advances further on circular economy journey

Glencore CEO Gary Nagle.

Glencore CEO Gary Nagle.

11th April 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


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JOHANNESBURG ( – Glencore has taken another step on the road to achieving the world’s circular economy imperative. 

The London- and Johannesburg-listed diversified mining and marketing company, headed by CEO Gary Nagle, intends to provide lithium-ion battery recycling solutions at scale for Spain and Portugal, in partnership with FCC Ámbito and Iberdrola.

FCC Ámbito manages industrial and commercial waste in Spain and Portugal, and Iberdrola is a globally spread renewable energy group that aims to facilitate access to the technologies of the future with a focus on sustainability through its Perseo Venture Builder programme.

The aim of the partnership is to recycle lithium-ion batteries through the establishment of a purpose-built recycling facility, which will include second-life repurposing and end-of-life recycling solutions.

Already a producer, recycler and marketer of battery metals, Glencore has a strategic goal of accelerating circularity of critical minerals needed for the transition to a low carbon economy.

Battery recycling capabilities and feed availability in the region have already been accessed in collaboration with the Iberian Energy Storage Research Centre, or CIIAE.

Work towards identifying the location of the recycling facility, which will be supported by sector-leading technology, is under way.

The recycling facility will be operated by FCC Ámbito, which will pre-process lithium-ion batteries and battery scrap, and separate this feed into distinct streams for further downstream refining and recovery of battery metals.

The volume of recycled battery materials, including production scrap, is expected to reach 35 000 t/y in Spain by 2035.

Glencore has been operating one of the world’s largest zinc smelters in Spain since 1960.

“We view production scrap as well as post-consumer materials as a valuable resource that will help supply the increasing demand for critical metals in support of the energy transition and the world’s net-zero ambition,” Glencore global recycling head Kunal Sinha stated in a release to Mining Weekly.

“This is one step forward in our efforts to recover the resources contained in the waste and to minimise the dependence on raw materials,” said FCC Ámbito circular economy head María J Kaifer.

Iberdrola’s Perseo Venture Builder global head Álvaro Portellano added: “We regard this new cooperation as a valuable opportunity to continue closing the loop in the circularity of the energy transition we are helping to shape, while expanding our successful collaboration with FCC that is already addressing wind blade recycling.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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