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Lithium Australia generates lithium-iron-phosphate from waste mica in world-first breakthrough

Products from the company’s SiLeach® process have potential to influence economic potential of the Sadisdorf project.
Lithium-ion battery
Lithium Australia aims to establish a vertically integrated lithium processing business

Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) has made a world-first breakthrough by generating lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) material from waste mica utilising its SiLeach® process.

The process improvements influence the economic potential of LIT’s Sadisdorf Lithium-Tin Project in eastern Germany, enhancing the company’s European battery prospects.

READ: Lithium Australia shares rise on producing li-ion batteries from mine waste

LIT continues to demonstrate that lithium-ion batteries (LIB) can be manufactured from products of its SiLeach® process.

The process is being designed to recover lithium chemicals from lithium concentrates without roasting.

Significantly, the chemical produced, tri-lithium phosphate (Li3PO4), can be used for direct production of LIB cathode powders, in particular those used to manufacture LFP LIBs.

This is done without having to produce high-purity lithium hydroxide or lithium carbonate, the production of which is often considered one of the most challenging steps in the battery manufacturing process.

Feed used for LIT’s generation-2 SiLeach® pilot plant comprised lithium micas recovered from mine waste in the Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia.

Those micas had similar metallurgical properties to the micas within the company’s wholly-owned Sadisdorf project.

READ: Lithium Australia achieves significant lithium recovery from SiLeach pilot-plant

The breakthrough achieved by generating cathode powders direct from tri-lithium phosphate not only has potential to boost the potential of Sadisdorf but also similar occurrences elsewhere in Europe.

The application of LIT’s proprietary technologies to generate LFP cathode materials from mica feed will be incorporated into scoping studies being undertaken on Sadisdorf.

Lithium Australia aspires to ‘close the loop’ on the energy-metal cycle in an ethical and sustainable manner.

It has amassed a portfolio of projects and alliances and developed innovative extraction processes to convert all lithium silicates, including mine waste, to lithium chemicals.

From these, the company plans to produce advanced components for the lithium-ion battery industry. The final step involves recycling spent batteries and e-waste.

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