$15 million to advance e-waste resource recovery

Tuesday, 07 June, 2022

$15 million to advance e-waste resource recovery

The Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF) has invested $7.5 million into e-waste management company Scipher Technologies. Another $7.5 million has been provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

The e-waste market is expected to be valued at over $112 billion by 2030, driven by the concept of urban mining — that is, extracting valuable materials from e-waste. As an example, a tonne of mobile phones contains more gold than a tonne of gold ore, but phones are routinely improperly discarded. Scipher performs urban mining to recover these valuable components, metals and materials from e-waste. It also refurbishes mobile phones and computers to reduce e-waste.

The investment from ABGF will be used to increase Scipher’s access to advanced technologies that enable it to optimise raw material and commodity recovery contained in end-of-life electronic and electrical equipment to a high degree of purity. Also part of the investment is the addition of Total Green Recycling to the Scipher Group, which also works to address e-waste and asset recovery.

“Regulators, businesses and consumers are increasingly focused on the treatment of e-waste,” said ABGF’s Co-Head of Investment, Patrick Verlaine. “Through this investment, we are supporting a growing business that’s investing in leading technology to maximise recovery rates of valuable and what would otherwise be environmentally harmful waste, diverted to landfill. We are delighted to be investing alongside such an experienced and industry-leading management team.”

Scipher’s founder and CEO, Chris Sayers, sees the value in the external investment.

“With this support, we can realise the company’s vision to become the largest licensed e-waste recycler and urban miner in Australia,” Sayers said.

The investment from ABGF is being matched by the CEFC, in what will be its first investment in e-waste management, by way of its Australian Recycling Investment Fund.

“Technology is making profound changes to our lives, and mostly for the better — from entertainment and communication options to household appliances and solar panels,” said CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth.

“At the same time as we embrace these new technologies, and inevitably discard older ones, we need to turn our attention to the end-of-life treatment of our many devices.

“Making more efficient use of finite resources is an important part of the transition to net zero emissions by 2050, with the added benefit of backing the growth of new industries and jobs. In our first e-waste investment, we are pleased to support Scipher in its ambitious plans to modernise the Australian e-waste recycling sector, improve recycling rates and lower emissions.”

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