Aqua Metals has appointed co-founder and chief operating officer Selwyn Mould (pictured) as interim CEO.
Mould succeeds Dr Stephen Clarke— who Aqua Metals has now said resigned from the post and his roles as chairman and a director earlier this year, but will “stay involved” as a consultant.
Mould will continue as COO and lead the US lead-acid battery-recycling start-up “pending completion of the permanent CEO search”, Aqua Metals said on 23 April.
Meanwhile, the company said three modules that form part of its Nevada AquaRefining operation have entered production after completing their "conditioning" period. A fourth module is expected to start production this week.
The move comes after the company resolved a “sticky lead” condition that had hampered production at its AquaRefining facility in Nevada.
Aqua Metals said: “Based on the experience gained with these modules, the company intends to focus on achieving 24/7 operations with four modules before bringing additional modules on line. This strategy is intended to maximise module production hours and increase AquaRefined lead quantities, as well as allow the remaining components of plant operations to synchronise with AquaRefining operations.”
After operations across the whole plant have “met standards for the first four modules”, Aqua Metals said it will bring additional modules on line, in batches of four, until all 16 are fully operational.
The company said all AquaRefined lead produced is being melted in the refinery and cast into 2 1/2 tonne blocks as refined bullion. “This bullion is currently an alloy of AquaRefined lead and priming lead bullion previously purchased to aid in the start up of the refinery. As AquaRefined lead production increases, the priming lead will be bled from the system over time and pure lead blocks will be produced.”
Aqua Metals said it expects the sale of bullion lead to begin in the second quarter of 2018.