Lithium Australia NL’s (ASX: LIT) wholly-owned subsidiary Very Small Particle Co Ltd (VSPC) has been awarded a co-funding grant from the Federal Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC).
The grant will be used to advance processes for the utilisation of high-grade iron materials and lithium-ferro-phosphate (LFP) from mineral sources and from the recycling of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).
Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said the grant was an important contribution to the sustainability of LIB manufacture.
“Step forward” for industry
He said: “Society can no longer afford to tolerate the single-use mentality of past generations.
“VSPC’s initiative to advance the application of lower-cost raw materials is a significant step forward for the battery industry.
“We have a strong team and talented partners capable of delivering an outcome that will benefit the environment, consumers and shareholders alike.
“This is an opportunity to provide practical outcomes in advancing the circular economy, and I thank AMGC and our other partners for supporting this initiative, which will help conserve resources, reduce landfill and provide the opportunity for a comprehensive stewardship scheme that promotes the responsible use of batteries.”
The project is co-funded by VSPC, its partners and AMGC, with AMGC providing matched grant funds of up to $185,000.
VSPC will use the grant to further develop the technology, focusing on the utilisation of lower-cost and recycled raw materials for the manufacture of LFP cathode material.
The LIT subsidiary has a research and development/pilot plant facility in Brisbane, Queensland
AMGC managing director Dr Jens Goennemann said: “Advanced manufacturing in all its forms represents a significant opportunity for the Australian economy.
“AMGC is pleased to support VSPC as it moves to commercialise its ground-breaking lithium-cathode manufacturing process.
“VSPC’s project addresses several global challenges, particularly how to conserve precious raw materials, deal with battery waste and reduce landfill, all while reducing cost.
“VSPC and its partners are a further demonstration of the power of collaboration and the skills that exist in Australia to tackle such a complex process while turning waste into opportunity.”
AMGC is a not-for-profit organisation established by the Australian Government to support the development of world-leading advanced manufacturing in Australia.
Partners in the project
Partners in the project include Lithium Australia through its subsidiary companies Envirostream Pty Ltd and Resource Conservation and Recycling Corporation Pty Ltd (RCARC).
Envirostream operates a LIB recycling business in Australia and, among other materials, produces mixed metal dust (MMD) from the processing of spent LIBs.
RCARC has successfully converted the MMD into high-purity lithium phosphate, as well as nickel and cobalt products.
Also partnering in the project is LIB-cell manufacturer DLG Battery Co Ltd (Shanghai) which will provide testing services to the project and the University of Queensland, which will supply analytical and material characterisation services for the project.