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Pure Battery Technologies has acquired a commercial-scale processing operation in Germany – bringing its proposed Townsville plant a step closer.

The Queensland battery material refiner has completed its feasibility study and is seeking investment prior to construction of what it describes as a ‘shovel ready’ project in Townsville.

The proposed plant – expected to cost about $107 million to bring online – would process nickel in Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) to supply battery chemicals to EV battery makers.

It is expected to create around 100 full-time jobs.

In collaboration with Cronimet, the German project in Hagen will allow PBT to prove the economics of its patented Selective Acid Leach (SAL) technology, which will be fitted to that plant over the next four months.

PBT managing director Bjorn Zikarsky said the aim of the German acquisition was to provide potential investors for the Townsville facility a smaller-scale commercial example of the SAL technology.

“We have already proven the viability of our technology through our pilot-plant in Brisbane, this commercial scale plant in Europe will give potential investors for Townsville further confidence in PBT’s commercial potential,” Mr Zikarsky said.

Mr Zikarsky said also the purchase would enable PBT to get a foothold in the large European electric vehicle (EV) market while providing profitability for PBT during its growth phase.

“Europe has a large EV market and the demand for good quality battery material is only getting stronger,” he said.

“We want to seize every opportunity to take this Australian innovation to the global market.”

The SAL processing technology was developed by the University of Queensland and licensed to PBT by UQ’s commercialisation company, UniQuest.

The company has secured a site on Hubert St with Port of Townsville for its planned North Queensland facility.