American Battery Technology Company Releases Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Summary

29 September 2023

American Battery Technology Company (ABTC) (NASDAQ: ABAT) has released its fiscal year 2023 financial results for the period ending June 30, 2023. ABTC is a fully integrated provider of critical battery materials, engaged in the commercialization of cutting-edge technologies for both primary battery mineral production and the recycling of secondary lithium-ion batteries.

ABTC occupies a unique position, addressing the challenges surrounding domestic critical battery materials through two groundbreaking initiatives. Firstly, it's pioneering the production of lithium from primary domestic claystone resources, and secondly, it's advancing integrated lithium-ion battery recycling operations. The FY2023 financial report underscores ABTC's unwavering commitment to collaborating with strategic partners to bring new domestic battery metal products to market. Fiscal year 2023, and the ongoing first quarter of fiscal 2024, has marked a pivotal period for ABTC as it focuses on rapid commercialization and sustainable growth to operationalize its environmentally responsible technologies within the lithium-ion battery recycling and primary battery metals manufacturing sectors.

Key financial highlights and milestones from fiscal year 2023 include:

  1. Acquisition of Battery Recycling Facility: ABTC acquired a move-in ready commercial-scale battery recycling facility and initiated the implementation of its integrated lithium-ion battery recycling processing train. This acquisition, finalized on August 11, 2023, will be categorized as property, plant, and equipment for the fiscal quarter ending September 30, 2023.

  2. Investment in Infrastructure: Cash used for investing activities in FY2023 amounted to $36.7 million, a significant increase of $21.6 million compared to the previous fiscal year. This includes $21.9 million used for the purchase of the new recycling facility and additional equipment in northern Nevada.

  3. DOE Grant Award: ABTC secured a competitive U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant worth approximately $10 million for the commercialization of advanced lithium-ion battery recycling technologies. The grant, coupled with an additional $10 million of in-kind resources from ABTC and its partners, supports this project.

  4. Expansion of Mineral Rights: ABTC acquired additional lithium-bearing mineral rights in central Nevada for $8.2 million in cash during the first half of the fiscal year.

  5. Lithium Hydroxide Refinery Grant: ABTC received another DOE grant, this time amounting to approximately $57 million, for the construction and commissioning of a commercial-scale lithium hydroxide refinery that utilizes sedimentary claystone as feedstock. ABTC and its partners are also contributing $57 million in in-kind resources to this project.

  6. EPC Partnership: ABTC selected global firm Black & Veatch as its lead engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm for the commercial-scale lithium hydroxide refinery.

  7. Increased Operating Costs: As ABTC ramped up commissioning of its battery recycling operations, cash used in operations for FY2023 increased by $3.2 million from the previous fiscal year to $13.4 million.

  8. Cost Reduction: ABTC streamlined operations and reduced shares issued for external consulting, resulting in a decrease of $12.4 million in expenses recognized for shares issued for services during FY2023 compared to the prior fiscal year, bringing it down to $9.3 million.

  9. R&D Investment: ABTC invested $7.7 million in research and development for FY2023, an increase of $6.7 million from the previous fiscal year. The company offset some of these costs with federal grant funds.

Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling: ABTC expanded its lithium-ion battery recycling business by acquiring a 137,000-square-foot commercial-scale battery recycling facility. This facility is undergoing final commissioning for its integrated battery recycling system, which employs strategic de-manufacturing and targeted chemical extraction to recover battery materials efficiently and sustainably. These methods differ significantly from conventional recycling techniques, resulting in higher yields, lower costs, and reduced environmental impact.

In the initial phase, recycled battery materials include copper, aluminum, steel, a lithium intermediate, and a black mass intermediate material. In the second phase, the lithium intermediate will be further refined into battery-grade lithium hydroxide, and the black mass intermediate material will become battery-grade nickel, cobalt, manganese, and lithium hydroxide products.

ABTC was chosen as one of five companies nationwide for a $10 million U.S. DOE grant to support the commercialization of these disruptive battery recycling technologies. Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, ABTC and its partners aim to validate, test, and deploy advanced separation and processing technologies to enhance economic competitiveness and reduce environmental impact.

Primary Lithium Resources Development: ABTC explored its 10,340-acre lithium-bearing claystone deposit near Tonopah, Nevada. This exploration led to a compliant maiden resource report, indicating one of the largest known lithium resources in the United States. ABTC is working to upgrade the resource from "inferred" to "measured and indicated" and move forward with permitting for commercialization.

Primary Lithium-Hydroxide Refining: ABTC, in collaboration with DuPont and the University of Nevada, Reno, developed a processing train to access lithium in unconventional resources and produce low-cost, low-environmental-impact lithium hydroxide monohydrate. The company successfully completed the initial phase, meeting battery cathode grade specifications. A techno-economic analysis demonstrated cost advantages at commercial scale.

ABTC received a $57 million DOE grant to construct a commercial-scale lithium hydroxide refinery based on these technologies and engaged Black & Veatch as its EPC firm for the project.