U.S. Strategic Metals To Enable United States Battery Supply Chain Independence

19 December 2023

U. S. Strategic Metals (USSM) today announced it has reached nearly $500 million in funding and commitments. The most recent financings, which include a $230 million commitment from affiliates of Appian Capital Advisory LLP ("Appian") with initial funding of a $120 million secured term loan facility and a $70 million secured royalty financing arrangement, will enable the expansion of USSM's mining, recycling, and processing operations in Fredericktown, MO. J.P. Morgan acted as Structuring Agent to USSM in connection with the Appian raise. USSM will commission the first commercial phase by the end of 2024.

After already deploying over $250 million to date, the additional capital will advance USSM's unique, green, ethical, low carbon, low emission, American-made technology.  USSM processes and recovers battery critical minerals including cobalt, nickel, lithium, and copper while offering superior logistics and long-term, sustainable jobs in the energy transition sector to a marginalized rural demography.  Most importantly, USSM expects to be the first significant near-term battery critical minerals recycling and processing solution to reduce sourcing dependence on China.

This investment marks a pivotal step in USSM's commitment to providing critical battery minerals and fortifying the United States' position in the green energy sector. By reducing reliance on global supply chains, USSM is at the forefront of fostering a secure and resilient domestic battery industry.

USSM's Fredericktown site has seen significant investment to date, including contributions from the founders (Waterfield Holdings and Stacy W. Hastie), HPS Investment Partners, and Glencore, advancing development and initial construction of the first phase of commercial processing. This latest funding is expected to ensure the finalization of phase one of commercial processing and expand mine development.

USSM is excited to partner with Appian to advance the project through commercial production. "Appian is a sophisticated, proven investor in this sector. This new round of investment will enable USSM to complete its first full phase, expected to process 240 tons of feedstock per day, a significant milestone," said Stacy W. Hastie, CEO of USSM. "USSM is capable of processing various metallic feedstocks including recycled lithium-ion batteries, battery production scrap, mixed metal concentrate, and traditional ore. This makes USSM the only domestic operation fully permitted with significant processing capacity.

"This funding milestone will enable USSM to provide auto makers a secure and ethical domestic supply to meet the majority of U.S. demand for cobalt for vehicle batteries—a game changer for the auto industry and the U.S. strategic battery materials supply chain all while repurposing a former Superfund site in the American heartland," Hastie said.

Michael W. Scherb, Founder and CEO of Appian, commented: "Appian is excited to partner with USSM to develop its cobalt-nickel mine and battery recycling and mineral processing operation in Missouri. USSM will shape the battery recycling landscape in the U.S. and play a critical role in establishing a domestic supply of essential minerals for the energy transition. This transaction is a further example of the continued success of Appian's dedicated credit and royalties offering and the added value that our market-leading technical team brings to project owners."

"We congratulate USSM on securing this investment to expand its critical minerals recycling and processing operations in Fredericktown," Missouri Governor Mike Parson said. "Not only will this investment create good-paying job opportunities in the region, but it will also strengthen supply chains and allow Missouri and the nation to be less reliant on nations like China. The demand for domestic battery production and critical mineral exploration is on the rise, and this investment proves Missouri is well-positioned to capitalize on that opportunity and emerge as a national leader."


Source: prnewswire.com