Berliner Tageblatt - SQM LITHIUM VENTURES COMPLETES ALTILIUM'S USD 12M SERIES A FUNDING THROUGH FOLLOW-ON INVESTMENT

SQM LITHIUM VENTURES COMPLETES ALTILIUM'S USD 12M SERIES A FUNDING THROUGH FOLLOW-ON INVESTMENT
SQM LITHIUM VENTURES COMPLETES ALTILIUM'S USD 12M SERIES A FUNDING THROUGH FOLLOW-ON INVESTMENT

SQM LITHIUM VENTURES COMPLETES ALTILIUM'S USD 12M SERIES A FUNDING THROUGH FOLLOW-ON INVESTMENT

PLYMOUTH, England , Feb. 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- SQM Lithium Ventures is proud to announce its follow-on investment of USD 9.43 million in Altilium, a UK-based clean technology group focused on supporting the energy transition to net zero, bringing its total investment to USD 12 million.

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The investment completes Altilium's Series A funding round and marks the largest investment to date for SQM Lithium Ventures, the corporate venture arm of the lithium business of Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM), one of the world's leading producers of battery-grade lithium.

The additional funding follows a year of strong progress in the scaling up of Altilium's proprietary battery recycling technology and underscores both companies' commitment to developing a circular economy for sustainable and low carbon battery materials.

SQM Lithium Ventures made an initial investment of USD 2.57 million in Altilium last year. Since then the company has hit a number of key development milestones, including the expansion of its UK recycling facilities, enhancement of its proprietary EcoCathode™ hydrometallurgical process and strengthening of its senior management team.

Going forward, the additional funding will accelerate the scale-up of Altilium's UK and European activities, paving the way for the roll-out of the company's full battery circularity customer offering, encompassing zero-carbon EV battery collection, black mass recycling and chemical refining direct to cathode active material (CAM).

Key developments for 2024 will include:

Construction of Small-Commercial Plant: The 18,000-square-foot facility in Plymouth, Devon is scheduled to begin operations mid 2024, processing significant volumes of battery precursors and cathode active materials for qualification with automakers and cell manufacturers.

Battery Recycling Stations (BRS): The raised capital will be instrumental in building the first Battery Recycling Station to efficiently transform discarded EV batteries into high-quality black mass, a crucial feedstock for Altilium's chemical refineries.

Commencement of European Hydrometallurgical Refining: Altilium are progressing with the retrofit of an existing plant in Eastern Europe, with plans to process 8,000 metric tons of black mass to EV battery intermediates later in 2024.

Finalisation of plans for the UK's largest EV battery recycling facility: The planned Teesside plant will have capacity to process battery waste from 150,000 electric vehicles. This facility aims to meet 20% of the UK's Cathode Active Materials (CAM) requirement by 2030.

Altilium President & COO, Dr Christian Marston, commented:

"We are delighted to continue our relationship with SQM and excited about the journey ahead as we build a UK and European leader in battery recycling. We are immensely grateful for their belief in our business and our shared vision for achieving the lowest carbon footprint in battery raw materials."

Altilium CEO, Kamran Mahdavi, commented:

"This round of funding with SQM Lithium Venture has been a pivotal achievement for Altilium and reflects the significant strides the business has made over the past 12 months. We look forward to building on these achievements with the support of our partners and our dedicated team."

Carlos Díaz, CEO of the Lithium-Potasium Division of SQM, commented:

"The investment in Altilium gives SQM the chance to participate in the creation of a new industry: the recovery of critical minerals such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt from recycled batteries. This will allow us to add value to the new battery supply chain, while at the same time maintaining sustainable levels of resource consumption, water use and carbon footprint. SQM's top priorities include attracting technical talent to the company and associating ourselves with the world's most innovative startups, allowing us to maximize our impact in the industry."

David Rousselle, Engineering Manager at SQM and member of Altilium's board of directors, added:

"Lithium batteries have become an essential component of modern society, as they're used in electric vehicles and electronic devices. Despite the importance of the circular economy, most lithium-ion batteries are still not recycled. In the US and EU, less than 1% of lithium-ion batteries are recycled, compared to 99% of lead-acid batteries. Given the growth in the electromobility market, lithium-ion battery recycling will be essential in the coming years. The investment in Altilium allows SQM to get ahead of the global recycling curve, doubling down on the company's commitment to developing solutions for human progress and working toward economic, social, and environmental sustainability."

In addition to providing capital investment, SQM Lithium Ventures also brings considerable experience in large-scale project delivery and a commitment to innovation and sustainability.

With substantial backing from UK Government Innovation grants, Altilium is leading the charge in the UK's journey towards establishing a national champion for EV battery recycling. Altilium's proprietary EcoCathode™ process converts old EV batteries and manufacturing scrap into domestic, sustainable, battery precursors, cathode active materials (CAM) and cathode precursor (p-CAM) for direct reuse in new batteries.

Recovering over 95% of crucial metals from old EV batteries will contribute to a UK domestic and sustainable supply of battery raw materials, reducing carbon emissions by over 50% and reducing the cost of cathode active material by more than 20% compared to conventional virgin mining practices.

About Altilium

Altilium is a UK-based clean tech group that will reshape the UK and European automotive supply chain by offering high volume, low carbon domestic sources of cathode and anode materials from recycling waste streams already in circulation, such as lithium scrap.

The company's proprietary EcoCathode™ process converts end-of-life EV batteries and manufacturing scrap into domestic, sustainable, battery precursors, cathode active materials (CAM) and cathode precursor (pCAM) for direct reuse in new batteries.

Altilium's first mini-commercial plant is currently under construction in Plymouth while its planned Teesside plant will be one of the largest EV battery recycling facilities in Europe. The plant will have the capacity to process scrap from over 150,000 EVs per year, producing 30,000 MT of CAM, enough to meet around 20% of the UK's expected needs by 2030.

More information is available at www.altilium.tech

About SQM Lithium Ventures

SQM Lithium Ventures, launched in December 2022, seeks to invest in growing companies solving challenges related to lithium, water, and electromobility. The up-to USD 40 million fund invests tickets averaging USD 3 million, plus follow-on investments, in companies across the globe, and also operates an acceleration program based in Antofagasta, Chile, for earlier-stage startups within the same three verticals. Parent company SQM is one of the world's largest producers of lithium for use in electric vehicle batteries.

The fund has a global presence, with team members in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. After evaluating more than 500 companies and completing four investment committees to date, the fund is advancing rapidly in conversations with several of the most innovative companies in its verticals.

The selection process consisted of several months of diligence and meetings with the Altilium team, culminating with an investment committee with participation of SQM's CEO, largest shareholders, and key company leaders. SQM plans to add value with its global presence and vast expertise in lithium value chains, as well as a role in the company's board of directors.

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