Lithium Australia NL’s (ASX:LIT) (FRA:3MW) 90%-owned subsidiary Environstream Australia Pty Ltd has received a positive response from a field trial using manganese and zinc derived from recycling of alkaline batteries as micronutrients to conventional mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP) fertiliser.
The field-trial progress show plants receiving Envirostream treatments demonstrate a clearly positive response compared to those in the control area.
'Great environmental solution'
Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said: “The utilisation of manganese and zinc derived from spent alkaline batteries, shows immense promise as a micronutrient for broadacre farming.
“The visual results we have seen in our Western Australian field trials speak for themselves.
“Disposal of spent batteries is a rapidly escalating global problem.
“Successful applications of this type provide a great environmental solution and beneficial outcome for Western Australian agricultural.
“Envirostream is well placed to provide Australia with a far superior environmental alternative to sending spent batteries to landfill."
Trial harvest planned mid-December
Performance of the control plants is in line with expectations, due to the phosphorous deficiency of the soil.
Visual trial performance is supported by statistical analysis of plant tissue from each of the areas treated.
The field trial harvest is planned for mid-December 2020, after which grain sampling will allow the company to complete a micronutrient analysis over the lifecycle of the crop.
Circular battery industry
Lithium Australia aims to ensure an ethical and sustainable supply of energy metals to the battery industry (enhancing energy security in the process) by creating a circular battery economy.
While rationalising its portfolio of lithium projects/alliances, the company continues with R&D on its proprietary extraction processes for the conversion of all lithium silicates, including mine waste, and of unused fines from spodumene processing, to lithium chemicals.
From those chemicals, Lithium Australia plans to produce advanced components for the battery industry globally, and for stationary energy storage systems within Australia.
The company seeks to vertically integrate lithium extraction, processing and recycling.