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The Italian government could get involved to speed up the permitting process for a recycling hub planned by Glencore in Sardinia, but first the Swiss miner has to present a complete business plan for it, the industry minister said.
Glencore and battery recycler Li-Cycle Holdings Corp said in May they would develop a recycling hub for electric car batteries in Italy to produce materials, including lithium carbonate, amid a global shortage of key raw materials for the fast-growing electric vehicle sector.
On Sunday, Glencore said it might look at alternative options for the hub after the regional government of Sardinia rejected a fast-track approval process for its pilot project.
"The company has not yet presented a feasibility plan," Industry Minister Adolfo Urso said speaking to Radio24 broadcaster on Tuesday.
Once Glencore tables a feasibility and industrial plan, the government will get involved, together with Sardinian authorities, to make it happen, Urso said.
When asked whether the central government could speed up the permitting process, Urso said "absolutely".
"For strategic sites we apply a new law that derogates from many constraints," the minister said without elaborating.
Glencore and Li-Cycle Holdings Corp said in May they wanted to set up the hub in Portovesme, in Sardinia, by re-purposing Glencore's existing production sites on the island. The commissioning of the hub was expected to start in late 2026 to early 2027.
Sardinia's regional government said on Friday the pilot project for the recycling hub would have to be submitted to a full environmental-impact assessment.
Glencore was not immediately available for comment.