Heraeus acquires Canadian recycling company McCol Metals

Heraeus acquires Canadian recycling company McCol Metals

June 24, 2024
Hanau, Germany

  • The acquisition strengthens Heraeus’ expertise in precious metals recycling.
  • McCol Metals, a Canada-based company, is specialized in recovering iridium from spent mixed metal oxide electrodes.

Heraeus acquires 100% of the company, which will continue its operations in St. John’s, N.L., Canada. The site will be operated by Heraeus Precious Metals, the precious metals division of the Heraeus Group and a leading company in the precious metals industry. The company intends to accelerate McCol Metals’ growth and support their innovative approach with its own know-how. “McCol Metals is a perfect fit for Heraeus Precious Metals. With this acquisition we are further expanding our leading competency in recycling precious metals” said Marius Vigener, Executive Vice President at Heraeus Precious Metals. “With McCol Metals’ innovative recycling technology we are following our ambition to keep as much precious metals in the loop as possible.”

“We are excited to announce our partnership with Heraeus Precious Metals. Leveraging their unparalleled expertise and extensive global network, we are poised to unlock unique synergies that will enhance our recovery and recycling solutions. Together, our aim is to elevate service standards for our customers while actively promoting sustainability in the global precious metals market,” said Darrell Coombs, Vice-President at McCol Metals.

Following years of research and dedication, McCol Metals has developed a state-of-the-art process to facilitate the recovery and recycling of the valuable precious metal iridium from spent mixed metal oxide (MMO) electrodes. MMO electrodes are used as anodes in electrochemical processes, for example in the production of chlorine, copper foils for batteries, water treatment and electro-winning. Iridium plays a vital role as conducting and catalyzing layer that is applied on the electrodes to aid the necessary reactions.

Until the acquisition, McCol Metals has been owned by Eastern Composite Services (ECS), a Newfoundland and Labrador-based provider of specialized industrial services for the mining, marine, and energy sectors. “For many years, we’ve cultivated a strong business relationship with Heraeus Precious Metals,” said Andrew Colford, Chief Executive Officer at Eastern Composite Services. “Through our longstanding collaboration, we’ve recognized them as our preferred partner to propel McCol Metals into its next stage of development. We look forward to Heraeus’ leadership and expertise driving continued innovation and success for McCol Metals under their ownership.”

Due to its temperature and corrosion resistance, its conductivity and its catalytic properties, iridium is in demand for a wide variety of industrial applications. For example, it is indispensable for the ramp-up of the green hydrogen economy. Given their limited availability, high value and the high CO2 emissions during extraction and processing, it is essential to keep precious metals such as iridium in the economic cycle and recover them from end-of-life materials.

Sustainability is of particular importance to Heraeus Precious Metals not only with regard to precious metal recycling: The company aims to operate CO2-neutral from 2025 and to completely abandon the use of fossil fuels from 2033.


About Heraeus

The Heraeus Group is a broadly diversified and globally leading family-owned technology company, headquartered in Hanau, Germany. The company’s roots go back to a family pharmacy started in 1660. Today, Heraeus bundles diverse activities in the Business Platforms Metals and Recycling, Healthcare, Semiconductor and Electronics as well as Industrials. Customers benefit from innovative technologies and solutions based on broad materials expertise and technological leadership. In the 2022 financial year, the group generated revenues of €29.1 billion (US$30.6 billion*) with approximately 17,200 employees in 40 countries. Heraeus is one of the top 10 family-owned companies in Germany and holds a leading position in its global markets.
(* calculated with 2022 average exchange rate, 1€ = 1.0530 US$)

About Heraeus Precious Metals

Heraeus Precious Metals is globally leading in the precious metals industry. The company is part of the Heraeus Group and covers the value chain from trading to precious metals products to refining and recycling. It has extensive expertise in all platinum group metals as well as gold and silver.

With about 3,000 employees at 15 sites worldwide, Heraeus Precious Metals offers a broad portfolio of products that are essential for many industries such as the automotive, chemicals, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, hydrogen and jewelry industry.

By 2025 Heraeus Precious Metals will be the first company in the industry that operates carbon neutral.

About McCol Metals

Headquartered in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, McCol Metals (McCol) leads the precious metals industry with a state-of-the-art process for recovering and recycling iridium from mixed metal oxide (MMO) electrodes. In a world with endless clean growth potential, McCol’s team of innovators are effectively creating value from waste and actively increasing sustainability to the global iridium market.

To date, McCol’s global business endeavors spread across nine countries— including Canada, the United States of America, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Chile, and Japan.

Media Contacts

Bettina Kraft
Global Head of Communications
Heraeus Precious Metals GmbH & Co. KG
T: + 49 6181 35-5732
E: [email protected] 

Samantha Harding
Director, Marketing and Communications
McCol Metals
T: +1 (709) 687-9707
E: [email protected]