The Nikkei reports that Nippon Mining & Metals Co. and GS Yuasa Corp. each plan to start collecting lithium-ion batteries from scrapped electric and hybrid vehicles in order to recycle their lithium.
The Nippon Mining Holdings Inc. unit has developed technology that extracts lithium from the batteries. It plans to build a trial plant at its R&D center in Ibaraki Prefecture, possibly next year, and to get the business running as early as 2011.
...GS Yuasa, a major producer of automotive batteries, intends to start collecting used lithium ion batteries in a few years through automakers and hand them over to refining companies. It will help refineries develop techniques for recycling the lithium by providing information on how much of the metal is used in different parts of the batteries, for example.
Japan imports all the lithium that it uses from nations such as Chile and the US, and prices have roughly tripled from five years ago. Japanese manufacturers controlling about 60% of the global market for battery components.