The International Finance Corp. (IFC) of the World Bank Group says it is investing $90 million in convertible preferred shares in Poland-based metals recycler and refiner Elemental Holding S.A.
Elemental has, in recent years, made several investments in catalytic converter recycling firms in the United States. In an interview with Recycling Today last year, Elemental vice president Krzysztof Spyra said the company was creating a global footprint through “through both organic growth and acquisitions, with the initial focus on Europe and Asia—from Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom to Singapore and India.”
In announcing its investment in Elemental, IFC says it is being made “to support its global growth strategy, which includes constructing new downstream metals recycling and metals refining facilities in Poland, accelerating its global acquisition strategy in new regions, and securing funding for general corporate purposes.”
The IFC calls the investment part of a $290 million equity private placement made in tandem with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Polish Development Fund (PFR).
“With our large metals recycling footprint, Elemental is uniquely positioned to benefit from global decarbonization megatrends, such as the circular economy and recycling, and the need to build local supply chains of critical minerals,” says Pawel Jarski, CEO and founder of Elemental. “We are excited to partner with leading global financial institutions such as IFC, EBRD and PFR to help drive our sustainable growth.”
IFC says its investment will help Elemental ramp up its ability to take material streams including electronic scrap, spent automotive catalysts and lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles (EVs) “and extract valuable metals and materials from them for reuse.” On its website, Elemental refers to platinum group metals as a focus of its recycling efforts, along with gold and nonferrous metals such as copper and aluminum.
Continues IFC, “This increases the sustainable supply of rare metals and recovery and reuse of valuable raw materials, improving the resilience of the supply chains for crucial industries and, in a context of limited global resources, addresses key environmental and climate challenges.”
“Enabling emerging markets to tackle growing waste management concerns and laying the groundwork for a circular economy is a priority for IFC,” says Ary Naïm, IFC’s regional manager for Central and Southeast Europe. “Through this investment, we are supporting a leading global company [and] contributing to greater sustainability by demonstrating the potential of a circular economy business model.”