In additional, LIT has also received notification from World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) that its patent application for the second-generation LieNA® process technology has been published.
LieNA® is a proprietary technology for the recovery of lithium from spodumene, which is the most common hard-rock source of lithium for the production of critical battery chemicals.
While the recovery rate of lithium from current spodumene concentration processes varies, it can be as low as 50%.
Lithium Australia’s LieNA® process is able to recover lithium from the fine spodumene in waste or tailings streams from such concentration processes.
The LieNA® process has the potential to not only expand current hard-rock lithium resources and reduce mining costs but also improve the sustainability of spodumne production and the subsequent manufacture of lithium chemicals.
LieNA® could have multiple benefits for hard-rock miners
Lithium Australia’s managing director Adrian Griffin said: "The ability to process fine spodumene that would otherwise never enter the supply chain represents a real opportunity.
“Processing such material can reduce the environmental impact of hard-rock lithium mining and improve sustainability with no additional mining costs or footprint.
“Importantly, application of LieNA® could not only change the economics of spodumene production but also provide a means of producing lithium-ion batteries that includes fewer processing steps and better quality control.
“We appreciate the involvement of ANSTO, a leader in the field of lithium-extraction technologies."
Recent $1.3 million grant
LIT was recently awarded a federal government grant to support the next stage of its $3.6 million LieNA® research and development program.
The company will receive a $1.3 million grant for the research program which will provide a pathway to commercialisation of the processing technology.
Leading researchers and companies participating in the R&D program include ANSTO, Murdoch University and Curtin University.