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American Battery is building a strong foundation to play the lithium long game

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  • Advancing lithium-ion battery recycling plant
  • Also covers extraction and resource production
  • Extensive mineral resources in Nevada

What American Battery Metals does:

American Battery Metals Corporation (OTCMKTS:ABML), soon to be known as American Battery Technology Company, is an American-owned lithium-ion battery recycling technology and advanced extraction company with extensive mineral resources in Nevada.

The company is focused on its lithium-ion battery recycling and resource production projects in the state, with the goal of becoming a substantial domestic supplier of battery metals to the rapidly growing electric vehicle and battery storage markets.

American Battery puts a great emphasis on the first word in its name. It says it is eagerly willing to work with other companies mining for battery metals in Nevada and in North America because it understands the importance of the US breaking free of reliance on foreign sources of critical materials. It believes that working together with industry partners and competitors is good for the home team, so to speak, and good for the global market.

Doug Cole has led American Battery since 2017. He is a partner with Objective Equity LLC, a boutique investment bank focused on technology, data and mining, and in 2019 he was awarded the Patriot Award from the Nevada committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and Secretary of Defense.

How is it doing:

In a release on March 24, American Battery highlighted the progress made on the development of its lithium-ion battery recycling pilot plant facility in Fernley, Nevada. The company said it continues to advance the scaling and commercializing of its recycling process after finishing the detailed design of its integrated lithium-ion battery recycling processing train over a year ago.

It noted the closing of the acquisition of 55 acre-feet/year of water purchased from three separate sellers, along with the anticipated closing of an additional 61.635 acre-feet/year by the end of the month with another 5.175 acre-feet/year closing in April which will ensure the pilot plant has adequate water to operate at full capacity

It said final geotechnical investigations would occur imminently on the Fernley pilot plant site in which three infiltration tests will be performed. Data gathered from these tests will inform the company’s pilot plant foundation design and completion of the final geotechnical investigation will enable the Miles Construction team to finish grading plans and submit grading permit applications to the City of Fernley. The company said it is expected that grading permit applications will be submitted in April and the grading operations will begin in May

The company added that it is working towards the submittal of a Class II Air Quality Operating Permit Application under the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection’s approved confidentiality guidelines, which will ensure the company’s highly proprietary integrated lithium-ion battery recycling processing train intellectual property remains confidential throughout the environmental permitting process. A conditional Use Permit (CUP) application is currently being reviewed by the City of Fernley for the company’s lithium-ion battery recycling pilot plant and is expected to be discussed at the Fernley Planning Commission meeting in mid-May, it added.

And American Battery said it is accelerating the company’s primary lithium extraction development efforts as a result of a $4.5million grant from the US Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office, announced at the end of January 20231, for primary lithium extraction and cathode specification hydroxide manufacturing from sedimentary resources technologies.

On March 23, American Battery also said it had established a new development center at the Nevada Center for Applied Research at the University of Nevada Reno (UNR). The company noted that while its recycling facility and innovation center is being built in Fernley, Nevada, the UNR lab space will complement its facilities at Greentown Labs in Cambridge Massachusetts, and will afford American Battery Metal access to UNR facilities, equipment, faculty, and students. 

At the end of March, American Battery revealed that it had been invited to join the advisory board of the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) as a representative of the lithium-ion battery recycling community. The CMI is an Energy Innovation Hub of the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory. As a member of the advisory board, the company said it will provide CMI with guidance on strategic planning and its research & development portfolio and work with the institute to define and understand the technological challenges in the recycling industry and help delineate pre-competitive research direction.

On the financing front, on April 12, American Battery – which is currently debt-free – announced that it has entered into a common stock purchase agreement with an institutional investor for up to $75 million worth of shares issuable over the next 24 months.  The company noted that the institutional investor is an existing shareholder who has invested in fixed-priced equity over the past year.

Under the stock purchase agreement, American Battery said it has in its sole discretion the ability to sell to the investor who is required to purchase shares based on the market price at the time the company initiates a sale. There are no upper limits to the price the investor may pay and the price will be based on the then prevailing market prices of its shares at the time of each sale. 

The company also noted that it raised a total of $9,231,638 in January 2021 at an average price of $2.17 per share via an earlier S-1 Registration Statement’s equity line of credit. And at the beginning of December 2020, American Battery said it had raised an additional $1.45 million from an offering of preferred stock at a fixed price of $0.125 per common share equivalent, closing a total private placement financing of $2.7 million under the preferred-share offering.

In the boardroom, in October 2020, American Battery announced the appointment of Menka Sethi as its chief operating officer. Sethi joined the company from Facebook Inc, where she led the company’s location strategy and managed a $1 billion investment and policy initiative to build more affordable housing in communities where Facebook operates. She is also a licensed architect and has experience leading real-estate development finance and management projects around the world.

That same month, the company also announced the appointment of David Corsaut as its chief financial officer. The company noted that Corsaut is a veteran leader of companies in the technology, manufacturing, logistics, finance and real estate sectors. He was instrumental in providing the capital formation for the companies he managed and prior to jointing American Battery led Coolfire Solutions as chief operating officer.

Then in November, the company said it had appointed Scott Jolcover as its chief resource officer, who will oversee its land assets and all current claims, as well as potential acquisitions and mergers, and strategic resource partnerships. It noted that Jolcover has 45 years of experience in mining, gaming, real estate, and construction and prior to joining the firm was director of development and general site manager for Comstock Mining Inc where he managed all commercial transactions, including land, water, and other major capital expenditures and acquisitions.

The hiring continued in December, with American Battery announcing the hiring of Kris Gustafson, formerly of Tesla as its lead procurement manager.  At Tesla, Gustafson worked most recently as staff procurement manager on the electric car maker’s engineering, procurement, and construction team. 

And in April 2021, American Battery announced that Nick Copping had joined the company’s Advisory Board.  Copping, who is a Senior Fellow at the Ponemon Institute, is a former senior research director at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and has previously worked as a director of corporate engineering for Hewlett-Packard. He also co-founded ZOOM Marketing in 1996, after which he became a partner at Microsoft, where he developed the Microsoft Global SI strategy.

Inflection points:

  • Opening of lithium-ion battery recycling pilot plant facility in Fernley, Nevada
  • More news on development center at the Nevada Center for Applied Research at the University of Nevada Reno
  • Progress in lithium extraction development efforts

What the boss says:

In a statement on April 6, 2021, American Battery executives welcomed President Joe Biden’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan, one component of which is reportedly $174 billion intended to incentivize Americans to choose electric vehicles over cars and trucks that run on gasoline or diesel through a combination of tax credits, rebates, and a national network of 500,000 EV charging stations.

American Battery COO Menka Sethi said: “We applaud President Biden’s call for sweeping investments in electric vehicles, renewable power and the electric grid as part of a broad blueprint to bolster the US economy while combating climate change. As prices of electric vehicles become more in-line with similar conventional cars and trucks and charging electric vehicles is made more accessible and faster, the penetration of EVs will accelerate beyond its current niche status.”

She added: “Industry experts believe supply chain bottlenecks including availability of critical materials will need to be solved to enable wide-spread adoption and usage of EVs. Our company is addressing this challenge by scaling our proprietary lithium battery recycling and extraction technologies to increase production of critical materials in the United States using low environmental impact processes.”

Contact the author at [email protected]

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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