US lead-acid battery-recycling start-up Aqua Metals is raising cash to expand its business after producing its first commercial high-grade lead following months of setbacks.
The company said on 13 June it intended to offer and sell shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering— using the net proceeds “for working capital, which could include capital expenditures related to addressing operational efficiencies and the expansion of production activities” at its initial AquaRefining facility in McCarran, Nevada.
The announcement came shortly after the company said it had “started commercialisation” of its proprietary AquaRefining electrochemical lead recycling technology while “ramping up” operations at McCarran.
Aqua Metals said it cast its first block of AquaRefined lead on 7 June— “meeting the soft lead grade set forth in the international standard BS EN 12659:1999, to the equivalent of 99.985% grade”.
The company said it now “expects to increase purity to the 99.994% grade, in excess of the standard requirements, in the coming weeks as production continues”.
Company president Steve Cotton said the achievement “meets the high-quality standards for soft lead on the London Metals Exchange, is a great milestone and fulfils one of the core promises of AquaRefining— producing high purity lead with little refining”.
“Our process essentially builds lead molecule by molecule during the recovery process, which is why you get such high purity in one step,” Cotton said. “In verifying the value of AquaRefining to our partners and future licensees… we are confident that we have delivered on technology capable of producing what we believe will be the highest quality lead on the market.”
AquaRefining is a room temperature, water-based process that the company said is “fundamentally non-polluting”. Modular systems allow the company “to vastly reduce environmental impact and scale lead-acid battery recycling production capacity”.
Steve Cotton’s appointment as president was announced last month, as Aqua Metals averted a potential boardroom challenge by reaching a settlement agreement with Florida-based Kanen Wealth Management.