Delivery of cathode material samples from the pilot facilities in Brisbane is expected to begin in the December quarter of 2018.
Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said: “VSPC gives Lithium Australia the opportunity to manufacture the world’s most advanced cathode materials – 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.”
VSPC is a specialist battery-component research and development laboratory wholly-owned by Perth-based Lithium Australia.
After completing the recommissioning, VSPC is verifying the quality and consistency of its pilot-production materials.
This is being done via VSPC’s advanced, on-site electrochemical testing facilities, the capabilities of which include the ability to assemble and test lithium-ion coin and pouch cells.
International battery makers previously showed strong interest in VSPC’s 4th-generation LFP cathode material.
This interest was supported by tests in late 2017 that showed the performance of VSPC's cathode material exceeded that of an industry standard material.
Griffin said: “We anticipate immense pressure on the supply of energy metals such as lithium and cobalt in the near future.
“Battery recycling not only supports sustainability but may also, ultimately, prove the cheapest source of those energy metals materials in years to come.
“The ability to produce cathode powders from these materials, while also controlling particle size, is clearly advantageous.
“It is an integral part of our sustainable and ethical supply policy."
Lithium Australia intends to ‘close the loop’ on the energy-metals cycle.
Change of name
In conjunction with the recommissioning, the name of the wholly-owned subsidiary has been changed to VSPC Ltd from Very Small Particle Company Ltd.
Lithium Australia aspires to ‘close the loop’ on the energy-metals cycle utilising strategic assets and disruptive technologies to establish a vertically integrated lithium processing business.
It aims to improve the lithium-ion battery supply chain with technologies that include its SiLeach® lithium extraction process, superior cathode material production from VSPC, and enhanced recycling techniques for battery materials.