Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) has increased its equity in Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd enhancing exposure to the process of collecting and separating spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), a fundamental precursor to recycling battery chemicals.
The investment of a further $100,000 in Envirostream Australia (EA) has lifted LIT’s holding to 23.9% from 18.9%.
At laboratory scale, LIT has successfully recovered metals from separated batteries and used the lithium retrieved to regenerate cathode materials.
From those materials, coin-cell LIBs have been manufactured, testing of which vindicated the company’s aim of closing the loop on the energy-metal cycle.
Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said, "In recycling spent LIBs, we hope to meet the ethical, social and governance standards the community has grown to expect.
“The world’s capacity to deal with climate change is also bolstered by the resulting improvements in resource sustainability and reductions in the environmental footprint of portable power.”
EA is the only company in Australia with the integrated capacity to collect, sort, shred and separate all the components of LIBs, including the lithium.
The infrastructure of EA is essential to developing an environmentally responsible solution to the mounting problems spent LIBs represent.
EA’s collection and physical processing/separation of spent battery components makes for a perfect fit with LIT’s recycling R&D.
The company’s expanded equity in EA, and acceleration of its R&D program, both anticipate the restructuring of the recycling business to best amalgamate the capabilities of LIT and EA.
Griffin added, “Our further investment in recycling in general, and EA in particular, therefore represents a tremendous opportunity for the company.”
As part of its strategy to close the loop on the energy-metal cycle, LIT 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 chemicals, the company plans to produce advanced components for the lithium-ion battery industry.
The final step for Lithium Australia involves the recycling of spent batteries and e-waste.
By uniting resources and the best available technology, the company aims to establish a vertically integrated lithium processing business.