Note 1 - Organization
|3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2021
|Notes to Financial Statements
|Nature of Operations [Text Block]
Aqua Metals, Inc. (the “Company”) was incorporated in Delaware and commenced operations on June 20, 2014 (inception). On January 27, 2015, the Company formedwholly-owned subsidiaries, Aqua Metals Reno, Inc. (“AMR”) and Aqua Metals Operations, Inc. (collectively, the “Subsidiaries”), both incorporated in Delaware. The Company is engaged in the business of equipment supply, technology licensing and related services for recycling lead through a novel, proprietary and patented process the Company developed and named AquaRefining™. Prior to November 29, 2019, the Company was engaged in the business of lead recycling through its patented and patent-pending AquaRefining technology. Following a fire at its lead recycling facility on November 29, 2019, the Company has been engaged in the pursuit of licensing opportunities within the lead battery recycling marketplace without maintaining and operating a capital-intensive lead recycling facility.
Unlike smelting, AquaRefining is a room temperature, water-based process that emits less pollution than smelting, the traditional method of lead recycling. The Company built its first recycling facility in Nevada’s Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (“TRIC”) in McCarran, Nevada and intended to pursue the development of additional lead acid battery recycling facilities based on the Company’s AquaRefining technology, likely through licensing or joint development arrangements. The Company commenced the shipment of products for sale, consisting of lead compounds and plastics in April 2017, and through March 31, 2018 substantially all revenue was derived from the sale of lead compounds and plastics. In April 2018, the Company commenced the limited production of lead bullion, including AquaRefined lead. In July 2018, the Company commenced the sale of pure AquaRefined lead in the form of two tonne blocks and in October 2018, the Company commenced the sale of AquaRefined lead in the form of battery manufacturing ready ingots. In November 2018, the Company received official vendor certification from Clarios for its AquaRefined lead and, in December 2018, the Company commenced shipments directly to Clarios owned and partner battery manufacturing facilities. In 2019, the Company operated its demonstration AquaRefinery at commercial quantity production levels and produced over 35,000 AquaRefined ingots by operating the AquaRefinery 24 hours a day and seven days a week for sustained periods of time. The AquaRefining Aqualyzers produced at or above the target 100 Kg/Hr of production throughput per module of six Aqualyzers or ~ 16-17 Kg/Hr per Aqualyzer and ran sustained endurance runs for over one month several times.
On the evening of November 29, 2019, a fire occurred in the AquaRefining area of the facility. The fire and related intense heat and smoke caused significant damage to a material amount of equipment in the AquaRefinery area, including all 16 AquaRefining modules, electrical and tank infrastructure, steel superstructure, control wiring and other supporting infrastructure. Following the fire, the Company adopted a capital light strategy designed to optimize shareholder value by focusing on equipment supply and licensing opportunities, which have always been a core part of the Company’s business plans. The Company believes this path has the potential to maximize shareholder value in that it could be far less capital intensive than a rebuild and could be funded solely or primarily from a combination of cash on hand, insurance proceeds and asset dispositions.