The company confirmed today it believed LieNA research and development warranted further investment and it had begun the next stage of its evolution at an Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) facility.
Lithium Australia developed the LieNA process to overcome the shortfalls of conventional conversion processes that recover lithium from spodumene.
Picking up on comments made at the 121 Mining Investment in South Africa, shared with the market on February 4, the company highlighted the LieNA process replaced thermal spodumene conversion with caustic-soda conversion at a lower temperature.
The lithium is then selectively leached and recovered as tri-lithium phosphate.
Lithium Australia’s LieNA process removes the need to use sodium sulphate production, has a smaller environmental footprint and uses less energy.
It also improves resource utilisation because it can process fine spodumene concentrates.
Reagents used in the process can also be regenerated.
Preliminary R&D work on the LieNA process at the ANSTO facility was supported by a conceptual engineering assessment of the applicability of the LieNA flow sheet to spodumene feed material.
Lithium Australia reported this morning: “The outcomes of this indicated that further development of the process was warranted.”
The next stage of efforts already begun at the ANSTO facility include final product synthesis, refining and the recycling of reagents.
The company wrote: “The aim of this work effort, which is scheduled to continue throughout 2019, is to confirm sufficient technical criteria to commit to a pilot plant program.”
VSPC and Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin will give a cathcode production market outlook address Roskill’s Lithium Mine to Market Australia 2019 event From Lithium Processing to Battery Production at 11am tomorrow on the final day of the February 21-22 event at Parmelia Hilton Perth Hotel.