Quebec's first precious metals recycling plant is on the way, following an agreement between green technology company NovX21 Inc. and the City of Thetford Mines.
The new plant will focus on the recovery of precious platinum-group metals (PGMs) from end-of-life vehicles, and will be set up in an existing industrial park.
“We looked at multiple options for the site of the new plant, both in Quebec and elsewhere, and Thetford Mines was the obvious choice, particularly given its strategic location and the availability of skilled labour in the region, but also because of its vibrancy and the entrepreneurial attitude of its representatives,” Sylvain Boulanger, NovX21's president and CEO, said in a statement.
In particular, Quebec-based NovX21 has developed an innovative green technology for the recycling of catalytic converters, a key component of vehicle pollution control. The company's quick, clean, affordable, energy-efficient process allows PGMs to be recovered and reused, along with almost all the components in the manufacture of catalytic converters.
NovX21's solution coincides with the convergence of a strong precious metals market and the global automobile market, with the latter being called upon to meet increasingly green standards. Recycling now plays a key role for many automotive industry players, from vehicle production through to vehicle end-of-life. In this context, the global PGM recycling market is expected to grow by 8.2 per cent to $9 billion by 2018.
The technology developed by NovX21 also opens the door to R&D activities aimed at adapting its facilities to recover other metals, for use in a range of industries that generate large quantities of reusable components, such as electronics.
“NovX21 has a proprietary technology. We are one of the companies that will enable Quebec to play a role in the commercial development of innovative, sustainable technologies and share in the associated economic benefits. In the current PGM market, NovX21 is aiming to become a stable source of supply,” added Boulanger.