Aqua Metals Announces Intention to Sell McCarran, Nevada Plant as Part of Its Non-Core Asset Disposition and AquaRefining Licensing Strategy
Company Accepting Bids for Land and Building Through December 11, 2020
MCCARRAN, Nev., Sept. 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aqua Metals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AQMS) (“Aqua Metals” or the “Company”), which is reinventing lead recycling with its AquaRefining™ technology, announced today that as part of its accelerated equipment supply and licensing strategy, which includes the disposition of non-core assets, the Company has officially placed its novel lead acid battery recycling plant for sale. The Company built and then operated the demonstration plant commercially through 2019 and successfully manufactured over 35,000 ingots of ultrapure AquaRefined lead. The Company believes it has achieved the demonstration purposes of the plant, resulting in the successful validation of AquaRefining technology and commercial sale of ultrapure lead. As stated previously, and as part of its long-term business strategy, the Company now plans to monetize this non-core asset with the sale of the plant as a means of financing the Company’s continued acceleration of its core business of becoming an equipment supplier and licensor of AquaRefining technologies.
The Company intends to market the land and building as a general use industrial facility. Residing on 11.5 acres, the 136,000 square foot plant contains 14,000 square feet of operational office space. The facility also includes three exterior dock doors with seven exterior grade level doors, 13,000 amps of total building power and a temperature-controlled warehouse with negative or positive pressure.
The Company has also initiated a separate effort to sell certain non-core lead recycling equipment into the secondary market for used equipment. The Company believes the land, building and non-core equipment may have a strong attraction as a fully-integrated package for any buyer looking to engage in lead recycling activities. The Company expects to apply the cash proceeds from the sale of the plant to further strengthen its balance sheet. The Company believes the sale proceeds, potential future insurance collections (total policy of $50M for equipment losses from the November, 2019 fire) and the $20.3M in insurance collected to date will be sufficient to fully fund the AquaRefining licensing business strategy as the Company transitions towards scalable revenues.
“The AquaRefinery has been a successful launching pad for our novel AquaRefining technologies,” said Steve Cotton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aqua Metals. “We have proven the technology to work and have demonstrated its commercial viability to industry partners with the sale of our recycled lead to Clarios at premium pricing and are now moving towards supplying AquaRefining equipment and licensing this technology. The plant will no longer be needed as we complete our V1.25L program at our leased, 14,000 square foot office and warehouse facility just a mile down the road. Given its strategic location in the highly desirable, but currently sold out, Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, we believe this timely sale can significantly strengthen our balance sheet. The plant can become a renewed launching pad for another lead acid battery recycler, a lithium battery recycler or frankly any industrial process player looking to quickly get into this strategic location. Furthermore, if the eventual buyer turns out to be a lead acid battery recycler, there could be additional opportunities beyond just the sale of the plant and land, whereby Aqua Metals can also supply AquaRefining equipment and license our leading technology. Regardless of the buyer, we are looking forward to completing our accelerated shift to a capital-light business model and further fortifying our cash reserves in order to fuel the completion of our vision of providing the World with what we believe is a sorely needed environmental, capacity generating and product quality upgrade to the $65B+ lead acid battery industry.”
The demolition and recovery work from the damage caused by the November, 2019 fire at the plant has commenced and the Company expects to complete a material amount of cleanup work throughout the remainder of this year as all physical damage inspections required by various experts have concluded. The Company has been advised by its commercial brokers that the clean-up activities will not materially impede the marketing of the land and building and that the marketing process can commence immediately.
The sale of the McCarran facility is being managed through a bid process by D|C|G (Dickson Commercial Group). The full listing can be seen at the link: 2500 Peru Drive Property Brochure. Interested parties may contact D|C|G directly: Joel Fountain (office) (775) 850-3136 (email) email@example.com, or Tom Fennell (office) (775) 850-3117 (email) firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Aqua Metals
Aqua Metals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AQMS) is reinventing lead recycling with its patented AquaRefining™ technology. Unlike smelting, AquaRefining is a room temperature, water-based process that emits less pollution. The modular systems are intended to allow the Company to vastly reduce environmental impact and scale lead acid battery recycling production capacity by licensing the AquaRefining technology to partners. This could help to meet growing demand for lead to power new applications including stop/start automobile batteries which complement the vehicle’s main battery, lead acid batteries which are in electric vehicles, Internet data centers, alternative energy applications including solar, wind, and grid scale storage. Aqua Metals is based in McCarran, Nevada.
Aqua Metals has used, and intends to continue using, its investor relations website (https://ir.aquametals.com), in addition to its Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts at: https://twitter.com/AquaMetalsInc (@aquametalsinc), https://www.linkedin.com/company/aqua-metals-limited and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvxKNWcB69K0t7e337uQ8nQ respectively, as means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning Aqua Metals, Inc. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that contain words such as "expects," "contemplates," "anticipates," "plans," "intends," "believes", "estimates”, "potential“ and variations of such words or similar expressions that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes, or that do not relate to historical matters. The forward-looking statements in this press release include our expectations for the sale of the land and building at our McCarran facility; the sufficiency of any sale proceeds coupled with any further insurance recovery to fund our operations and the development and completion of our V1.25 electrolyzer; the benefits of the V1.25 electrolyzer; and the future of lead acid battery recycling via traditional smelters. Those forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. Among those factors are: (1) the risk that we may not be able to sell the land and building at our McCarran facility on a timely basis, (2) the risk that we may not realize the sale proceeds we hoped for from the sale of the land and building, (3) the risk that the terms of any such sale may include indemnities or other provisions that pose potential contingent liability to Aqua Metals, (4) the risk that we may not be able to complete the development of our V1.25 electrolyzer; (5) the risk that we may not realize the expected benefits from our V1.25 electrolyzer; (6) the risk that our insurance recovery from our claims relating to the November 2019 fire at our TRIC facility and proceeds from the sale of legacy assets will not be sufficient to fund our accelerated licensing strategy; (7) the risk that we may not be able to satisfactorily demonstrate to potential licensees the technical and commercial viability of our V1.25 electrolyzer and AquaRefining process; (8) the risk that licensees may refuse or be slow to adopt our AquaRefining process as an alternative to smelting in spite of the perceived benefits of AquaRefining; (9) the risk that we may not realize the expected economic benefits from any licenses we may enter into; (10) the risk that we will have to engage in additional sales of our equity securities in order to fund our future operations; (11) the risk that further funding, by any means, may not be available at all; (12) the fact that we have not generated any significant revenue to date, thus subjecting us to all of the risks inherent in an early-stage company; (13) the risk that our patents and any other patents that may be issued to it may be challenged, invalidated, or circumvented; (14) the risk that we may not be able to successfully conclude our proposed joint development agreement with Clarios or, if we do, realize the expected benefits of such agreement; (15) changes in the federal, state and foreign laws regulating the recycling of lead acid batteries; (16) our ability to protect our proprietary technology, trade secrets and know-how and (17) those other risks disclosed in the section "Risk Factors" included in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on August 4, 2020 and subsequent SEC filings. Aqua Metals cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to update or revise such statements to reflect new circumstances or unanticipated events as they occur, except as required by law.
Contact: Glen Akselrod, Bristol Capital
(905) 326-1888, Ext. 1
Released September 22, 2020