HydroMet has 2 x 10 tonne per hour battery recycling plants located at Unanderra NSW and Laverton VIC.
TThe plants are designed to process used lead acid batteries (ULAB’s) of which there is an estimated 120,000 to 130,000 tonnes generated per year in Australia. This amounts to approximately 9.125 million motor and industrial batteries. HydroMet has capacity to process up to 80,000 tonnes per annum or approximately 5.3 million ULAB’s. At capacity of 80,000 tonnes per annum the HydroMet plants can recover up to 44,500 tonnes of contained lead per year.
The company sources ULAB's from a number of collectors/scrap dealers around Australia and has a positive effect on battery recycling eliminating environmentally unacceptable disposal of used batteries to landfill.
The recycling plant produces:
- Lead metal (from the plates in the batteries) sold to secondary lead smelters both in and outside Australia. Also sent to our furnace in Laverton to be converted into refined lead.
- Lead Oxide from paste used to separate the plates also sold to secondary lead smelters and sent to Laverton.
- Both the lead metal and oxide are high grade feed for secondary smelters.
- Polypropylene (plastic) from battery casings which is recycled by an established local recycler.
- Waste acid which is being utilised in HydroMet’s chemical manufacturing businesses at Unanderra, Laverton and Newcastle and which replaces acid normally purchased for the production process.
HydroMet has submitted a development application to relevant authorities to build a secondary lead smelter at its established Newcastle facility to convert lead recovered from ULAB's at Unanderra to high grade lead metal and lead alloys where the full lead value can be realised.