Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2022
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Basis of Accounting, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Basis of presentation and consolidation


The accompanying consolidated financial statements include those of Aqua Metals, Inc. and its subsidiaries, after elimination of all intercompany accounts and transactions. The Company has prepared the accompanying consolidated financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) and pursuant to the rules and regulations of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).


Use of Estimates, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Use of estimates


The preparation of the consolidated financial statements requires management of the Company to make a number of estimates and assumptions relating to the reported amount of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements, and the reported amounts of expenses during the period. Significant items subject to such estimates and assumptions include the carrying amount and valuation of long-lived assets, valuation allowances for deferred tax assets, the determination of stock option expense and the determination of the fair value of stock warrants issued. Actual results could differ from those estimates.


Cash and Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Cash and cash equivalents


The Company considers all highly liquid instruments with original or remaining maturities of ninety days or less at the date of purchase to be cash equivalents. The Company maintains its cash balances in large financial institutions. Periodically, such balances may be in excess of federally insured limits.


Accounts Receivable [Policy Text Block]

Accounts receivable


The Company has traditionally sold its products to large well-established companies and extends credit without requiring collateral, based on an ongoing evaluation of the customer’s business prospects and financial condition. In the event that payment of a customer’s account receivable is doubtful, the Company would reserve the receivable under an allowance for doubtful accounts. As of December 31, 2022, the Company had no trade accounts receivable balance and has not created a reserve for doubtful accounts. The total accounts receivable balance as of  December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021 consisted of proceeds from the sale of equipment.


Inventory, Policy [Policy Text Block]



Inventory is stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value. Cost is recorded on a first-in, first-out basis using the weighted average method. Net realizable value is determined as the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business, less reasonably predictable costs of completion, disposal, and transportation. The Company records a write-down, if necessary, to reduce the carrying value of inventory to its net realizable value. The effect of these write-downs is to establish a new cost basis in the related inventory, which is not subsequently written up.


Property, Plant and Equipment, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Property and equipment, net


Property and equipment are stated at cost net of accumulated depreciation. Depreciation on property and equipment is calculated on the straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets. Leasehold improvements are depreciated over the shorter of the life of the asset or the remaining term of the lease. 


Property and equipment are stated at cost net of accumulated depreciation. Depreciation on property and equipment is calculated on the straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets. Leasehold improvements are depreciated over the shorter of the life of the asset or the remaining term of the lease. We periodically evaluate our property and equipment assets for indications that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. At December 31, 2022 and 2021, management compared the carrying value of the assets held for sale against current fair market values. We determined the carrying value needed to be reduced to align with current fair market values. At  December 31, 2022 and 2021, we recognized a write-down on the assets held for sale to fair market value of approximately $0.6 million and $0.5 million, respectively. 



Intangible Assets, Finite-Lived, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Intellectual property, net


Intellectual property consists of patent applications contributed to the Company by five founding stockholders and patent applications for technology developed by the Company. The useful life of this intellectual property has been determined to be ten years and the assets are being amortized straight-line over this period. The Company periodically evaluates its intangible and other long-lived assets for indications that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. In reviewing for impairment, the Company compares the carrying value of such assets to the estimated undiscounted future cash flows expected from the use of the assets and their eventual disposition. When the estimated undiscounted future cash flows are less than their carrying amount, an impairment loss is recognized equal to the difference between the assets’ fair value and their carrying value. In addition to the recoverability assessment, the Company routinely reviews the remaining estimated lives of its long-lived assets. Any reduction in the useful life assumption will result in increased depreciation and amortization expense in the period when such determination is made, as well as in subsequent periods. The Company evaluates the need to record impairment during each reporting period. As of December 31, 2022 and 2021, the Company determined that the estimated life of the intellectual property properly reflected the current remaining economic life of the asset.


Investment, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Investment in LINICO


Investments, which may be made from time to time for strategic reasons (and not to engage in the business of investments) are included in non-current assets in the consolidated balance sheets. Investments are recorded at cost and the Company analyzes the value of investments on a quarterly basis. The nature and timing of the Company’s investments will depend on available capital at any particular time and the investment opportunities identified and available to the Company.


Lessee, Leases [Policy Text Block]



The Company determines if an arrangement is a lease at inception. Operating lease right-of-use assets (“ROU assets”) and short-term and long-term lease liabilities are included in the consolidated balance sheets. ROU assets represent the right to use an underlying asset for the lease term and lease liabilities represent the Company’s obligation to make lease payments arising from the lease. Operating and finance lease ROU assets and liabilities are recognized at commencement date based on the present value of lease payments over the lease term. As most of the Company’s leases do not provide an implicit rate, the Company uses an incremental borrowing rate based on the information available at the commencement date in determining the present value of lease payments. The Company’s lease terms may include options to extend or terminate the lease. Lease expense for lease payments is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term. For lease agreements with terms less than 12 months, the Company has elected the short-term lease measurement and recognition exemption, and the Company recognizes such lease payments on a straight-line basis over the lease term.


Revenue from Contract with Customer [Policy Text Block]

Revenue recognition


The Company records revenue in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. ASC 606 provides a single comprehensive model for the recognition of revenue arising from contracts with customers and supersedes most current revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance. It requires an entity to recognize revenue when the entity transfers promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. ASC 606 creates a five-step model that requires entities to exercise judgment when considering the terms of contract(s), which includes (1) identifying the contract(s) with the customer, (2) identifying the separate performance obligations in the contract, (3) determining the transaction price, (4) allocating the transaction price to the separate performance obligations, and (5) recognizing revenue as each performance obligation is satisfied. ASC 606 requires additional disclosure about the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from customer contracts, including qualitative and quantitative information about contracts with customers, significant judgments and changes in judgments and assets recognized from costs incurred to obtain or fulfill a contract.


Revenue is generally recognized with the delivery of the Company’s products, primarily hard lead, lead compounds and plastics, to customers. Sales, value add, and other taxes, if any, that are collected concurrent with revenue-producing activities are excluded from revenue as they are subsequently remitted to governmental authorities. Incidental items that are immaterial in the context of the contract are recognized as expense. Freight and shipping costs related to the transfer of the Company’s products to customers are included in revenue and cost of product sales. Payment on invoices is generally due within 30 days of the invoice.


Arrangements with Multiple Performance Obligations


Contracts with customers may include multiple performance obligations. A performance obligation is a promise in a contract to transfer a distinct good or service to the customer and is the unit of account in ASC 606. A contract’s transaction price is allocated to each distinct performance obligation and recognized as revenue when, or as, the performance obligation is satisfied. The Company expects that many of our contracts will have a single performance obligation as the promise to transfer the individual goods or services will not be separately identifiable from other promises in the contracts and therefore, not distinct. For contracts with multiple performance obligations, revenue will be allocated to each performance obligation based on the Company’s best estimate of the standalone selling price of each distinct good or service in the contract. The primary method used to estimate standalone selling prices is based on prices charged separately to customers or expected cost-plus margin. At present, the Company does not have any arrangements with multiple performance obligations.


Significant Judgments


The Company estimates variable consideration for arrangements where the transaction price is not fully determinable until the completion of yield testing. The Company estimates variable consideration at the most likely amount to which it expects to be entitled and includes estimated amounts in revenue to the extent it is probable that a significant reversal of revenue recognized will not occur when the uncertainty associated with the variable consideration is resolved. Adjustments to revenue is recognized in the period when the uncertainty is resolved. To date, any adjustments to estimates have not been material.


Practical Expedients and Exemptions


The Company does not disclose the value of unsatisfied performance obligations for (i) contracts with an original expected length of one year or less and (ii) contracts for which we recognize revenue at the amount to which we have the right to invoice for services performed.



Insurance Proceeds [Policy Text Block]

Insurance proceeds


On November 29, 2019, there was a fire in the Aqua Refining area of the TRIC facility. As of December 31, 2021, the Company had received a total of $30.25 million in insurance payments as a result of the fire damage. The Company does not expect any additional insurance payments as a result of the 2019 fire.   


Research and Development Expense, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Research and development


Research and development expenditures are expensed as incurred.


Income Tax, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Income taxes


The Company accounts for income taxes in accordance with the asset and liability method of accounting for income taxes. Under the asset and liability method, deferred assets and liabilities are recognized based upon anticipated future tax consequences attributable to differences between financial statement carrying amounts of assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases. The provision for income taxes is comprised of the current tax liability and the changes in deferred tax assets and liabilities. The Company establishes a valuation allowance to the extent that it is more-likely-than-not that deferred tax assets will not be recoverable against future taxable income.


The Company recognizes the effect of uncertain income tax positions only if those positions are more-likely-than-not of being sustained. Recognized income tax positions are measured at the largest amount that is greater than 50% likely of being realized. Changes in recognition or measurement are reflected in the period in which the change in judgment occurs.


Fair Value Measurement, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Fair value measurements


The carrying amounts of cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, inventory, prepaid expenses and other current assets, accounts payable, and accrued expenses approximate fair value due to the short-term nature of these instruments. The carrying value of short and long-term debt, and lease liabilities also approximates fair value since these instruments bear market rates of interest or are calculated using market rates of interest. None of these instruments are held for trading purposes.


Fair value is defined as an exit price, representing the amount that would be received upon the sale of an asset or payment to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants. Fair value is a market-based measurement that is determined based on assumptions that market participants would use in pricing an asset or liability. A three-tier fair value hierarchy is used to prioritize the inputs in measuring fair value as follows:


Level 1. Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.


Level 2. Quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities in active markets, quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in markets that are not active, or other inputs that are observable, either directly or indirectly.


Level 3. Significant unobservable inputs that cannot be corroborated by market data.


The asset or liability’s fair value measurement within the fair value hierarchy is based upon the lowest level of any input that is significant to the fair value measurement.


There are no assets or liabilities that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis at December 31, 2022 or December 31, 2021.


Share-Based Payment Arrangement [Policy Text Block]

Stock-based compensation


The Company recognizes compensation expense for stock-based compensation in accordance with ASC 718 “Compensation – Stock Compensation.” The fair value of restricted stock units ("RSUs") is measured on the grant date based on the closing fair market value of our common stock. The resulting cost is recognized over the period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the awards, usually the vesting period, which is generally three years for RSUs. Stock-based compensation expense is recognized on a straight-line basis, net of actual forfeitures in the period.


Earnings Per Share, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Net loss per share


Basic net loss per share is computed by dividing net loss by the weighted average number of vested shares outstanding during the period. Diluted net loss per share is computed by giving effect to all potential dilutive common securities, options and warrants. Potential dilutive common shares include the dilutive effect of the common stock underlying in-the-money stock options and is calculated based on the average share price for each period using the treasury stock method. Under the treasury stock method, the exercise price of an option and the average amount of compensation cost, if any, for future services that the Company has not yet recognized when the option is exercised, are assumed to be used to repurchase shares in the current period.


For all periods presented in this report, stock options and warrants were not included in the computation of diluted net loss per share because such inclusion would have had an antidilutive effect.



Year Ended December 31,


Excluded potentially dilutive securities (1):






Options to purchase common stock

    994,267       1,026,712  

Unvested restricted stock

    6,387,937       5,246,875  

Financing warrants to purchase common stock

    6,372       6,372  

Total potential dilutive securities

    7,388,576       6,279,959  


(1) The number of shares is based on the maximum number of shares issuable on exercise or conversion of the related securities as of the period end. Such amounts have not been adjusted for the treasury stock method or weighted average outstanding calculations as required if the securities were dilutive.


Segment Reporting, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Segment and geographic information


Our chief operating decision maker (“CODM”) is the Chief Executive Officer. Operating segments are defined as components of an enterprise engaging in business activities for which discrete financial information is available and regularly reviewed by the CODM in deciding how to allocate resources and in assessing performance. The CODM views its operations and manages its business in one operating segment, and the Company operates in only one geographic segment.


Concentration Risk, Credit Risk, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Concentration of credit risk


The Company generated revenue of $4,000 and $173,000 for the years ended  December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively, for the sale of inventory to P. Kay Metals. Revenue from P. Kay Metals represented 100% of total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021. The Company did not have a trade receivable balance as of  December 31, 2022. The Company's trade accounts receivable balance was $17,000 as of  December 31, 2021. The accounts receivable balance on the Company's consolidated balance sheets as of  December 31, 2022 and  December 31, 2021 consisted of proceeds from sale of equipment. 


Reclassification, Comparability Adjustment [Policy Text Block]

Plant operations and clean up


During the fourth quarter of 2022, the Company reclassified cost of product sales as plant operations and clean up to make the financial statements be more informative. Prior year amounts have been reclassified for consistency with the current year presentation. The reclassification has no effect on the reported results of operations.


New Accounting Pronouncements, Policy [Policy Text Block]

Recent accounting pronouncements


There were no recent accounting pronouncements or changes in accounting pronouncements during the year ended December 31, 2022 that are of significance or potential significance to the Company.