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Lithium Australia enters high-margin end of battery metals market after completing acquisition

Purchase of the Very Small Particle Company is completed within 48 hours of offer.
Closed loop in energy metal cycle
The acquisition will enable the company to 'close the loop' of the energy-metal cycle

Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) will enter the high-margin end of the battery metals market after completing its acquisition of the Very Small Particle Company (VSPC).

The acquisition provides Lithium Australia with exposure to the manufacture of cathode powders, which is the most profitable process step in the battery production cycle.

Batteries produced from VSPC cathode materials outperform industry benchmarks.

READ: Lithium Australia aims to ‘close the loop’ on energy-metal cycle by completing acquisition

Adrian Griffin, managing director, said: “Supply shortages are already a reality in the lithium-ion battery space.

“VSPC provides us with the opportunity to manufacture the most advanced cathode materials in the world, at the high-margin end of the battery metals market.

“Importantly, VSPC will also allow us to capitalise on waste batteries as a feed source.

“Acquisition elevates Lithium Australia's role”

“The VSPC acquisition elevates Lithium Australia’s role as a processor of primary materials to that of a sustainable producer of lithium-ion battery components.

"This step is not only a great advance for Lithium Australia but also a step in the right direction for the development of sustainable energy technologies on an industrial scale.”

The acquisition of the unlisted, Brisbane-based public company was completed just 48 hours after Lithium Australia lodged compliance documents for its takeover offer.

Acceptances received for 99.7%

The company has received acceptances for 99.7% of VSPC’s issued capital.

VSPC is the brainchild of a number of prominent Queensland-based university research workers.

They spent 14 years and circa $30 million developing what Lithium Australia believes to be the world’s most advanced cathode production technology for lithium-ion batteries.

The VSPC process has the ability to precisely control the particle size and chemistry of cathode powders, using patented technology to generate the initial particle directly from solution.

Production process simplified

This greatly simplifies the production process, improves quality control and reduces cost. The particle genesis is compatible with other energy-metal technologies being developed by Lithium Australia.

READ: Lithium Australia commits to building large-scale SiLeach® pilot plant

These include the recycling of lithium-ion batteries via RCARC and production of lithium chemicals from unconventional sources via SiLeach®.

Adding VSPC to Lithium Australia's technology base not only provides exposure to the manufacture of cathode powders but also 'closes the loop' of the energy-metal cycle.

Rebirth of used materials

This is done by enabling the rebirth of used materials in the form of new battery cathode powders.

VSPC owns a pilot plant that incorporates cathode powder production as well as battery production and testing.

Plant to be re-commissioned

Lithium Australia will expedite re-commissioning of that plant, with a view to providing a range of cathode materials for assessment by major battery manufacturers.

The company is recruiting the staff required to undertake this challenging task.

It is also negotiating a range of technical service agreements to provide the support necessary to ensure success.

Lithium Australia’s disruptive extraction processes are designed to convert lithium silicates to lithium chemicals, from which advanced components for the battery industry can be created.

By uniting resources and the best available technology, the company seeks to establish a vertically integrated lithium processing business.

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