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Lithium Australia continues to close the loop on the battery metals economy

The company plans to mine raw materials such as lithium and vanadium, process them into end-products, and then be able to recycle used products to produce raw materials.
diagram showing circular nature of four business segments
Once it can do this it will have a circular economy for battery metals

Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) continues to advance its four business segments of raw materials, lithium chemicals, batteries and cathode materials, and recycling.

On the raw materials front, LIT is focused on resource drilling at its Youanmi Project area in Western Australia which hosts lithium and vanadium.

Lithium drilling targeting extensions has completed 22 holes for 882 metres with most holes displaying visible lithium mineralisation.

Notably, the mineralisation is in the form of lepidolite, which can be processed using the company's proprietary SiLeach® processing technology.

A maiden vanadium resource was released at Youanmi during May 2019 of 185 million tonnes grading 0.33% vanadium pentoxide and samples are now undergoing metallurgy testwork.

READ: Lithium Australia to follow-up drill previous discovery at Youanmi

In the lithium chemicals business, LIT has developed a number of extraction processes allowing the production of cathode powders directly from lithium phosphate, without the requirement of an intermediate lithium hydroxide or carbonate.

Given the value of lithium hydroxide, LIT has also been investigating the conversion of lithium phosphate directly to lithium hydroxide with test work now initiated at ANSTO.

LIT also has its SiLeach® and LieNA® processing technologies.

VSPC focused on producing lithium ion battery cathode powders

LIT’s company VSPC Ltd is focused on using the lithium phosphate chemicals to produce saleable lithium-ion battery related products.

READ: Lithium Australia to set up Lithium Australia DLG venture with Chinese battery producer DLG

LIT entered into an agreement with major Chinese battery manufacturer DLG Battery to commercialise VSPC cathode powders in China, and develop a battery distribution business in Australia.

READ: Lithium Australia boosts stake in battery recycler Envirostream

Finally, in the recycling business, LIT is advancing its test work to recover battery metals from used lithium-ion batteries.

A flow sheet for the recycling process is being finalised and design of the pilot plan has commenced.

Furthermore, LIT recently increased its stake in Melbourne-based lithium-ion battery recycler Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd.

READ: Lithium Australia rights issue raises $2.747 million for integrated lithium strategy

LIT’s managing director Adrian Griffin said: “The activities being undertaken by the company place us in a unique position to provide sustainable solutions to the battery industry and the components that supply that industry.

“We are passionate about improving the utilisation of resources and reducing negative impacts on the environment as we do so."

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