LIT closes energy metal cycle loop with advanced battery technology

By Zoe Gross. Published at Sep 4, 2017, in Mining

Lithium storage could be the most significant change in energy management since the industrial revolution.

At the centre of this massive shift towards renewable power and the advancement of lithium-ion battery (LIB) technology is Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT), one of Australia’s foremost developers of disruptive lithium extraction technologies.

Last week, Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) revealed its intention to procure advanced Li-ion battery cathode production technology by way of its acquisition of the Very Small Particle Company Limited (VSPC).

VSPC is an unlisted, Brisbane-based researcher and developer of some of the world’s most innovative and respected new era cathode materials for Li-ion batteries.

The acquisition will enable LIT to tap into the technologies needed to close the loop of the energy metal cycle.

Lithium Australia energy metal cycle

In the video below, managing director Adrian Griffin discusses the acquisition in more detail.

Of course the acquisition is in its early stages and investors should seek professional financial advice for further information if considering this stock for their portfolio.

The acquisition offers considerable benefits for the renewables-focused LIT. VSPC owns an innovative, patent-protected chemical process, delivering highly precise chemistry to complex metal oxides (cathode materials), which represents a fast track to commercialisation of superior cathode products.

LIT will be able to recommission VSPC’s advanced cathode pilot plant in Brisbane, accessing the world’s most advanced cathode materials and expanding VSPC’s strategic partnerships.

Central to LIT’s plan is to deploy new technologies to produce battery chemicals in the lowest cost quartile. To achieve this, LIT will commercialise its 100%-owned SiLeach® lithium extraction technology develop the world’s best cathode materials via nanotechnology.

Vertical integration of these technologies will provide investors with exposure to high-quality exploration assets, the most optimal lithium extraction technologies, leading edge Li-Ion cathode manufacturing technology, and re-entry into the cycle by recovery of energy metals from spent batteries.

With significant headway made towards commercialisation of its SiLeach® hydrometallurgical lithium extraction technology, and having also embarked on a global exploration program and prepared graphite assets for IPO, 2017 is shaping up to be an auspicious year for LIT.

Using advanced technologies for LIB sustainability

The rapidly expanding battery industry faces a number of considerable challenges, including a susceptibility to supply shortages, the ethical constraints of conflict metals, low battery recycling rates, and under-utilised waste streams.

In Australia, only 10% of batteries are currently recycled, and abundant lithium from mining operations is discharged to tailings as waste.

Mitigation of these kinds of issues is central in LIT’s approach to lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and sustainability.

LIT strives to achieve a ‘circular energy economy’ in terms of the production and utilisation of LIBs, and aims to integrate the highest performing technologies to do this.

SiLeach® – the most effective processing technology

SiLeach® is an unparalleled processing environment that efficiently digests and recovers all significant metal values from the minerals processed. It can therefore be applied to a wide range of lithium feedstock, with low energy consumption, high metal recoveries and extensive by-product credits.

As a hydrometallurgical process occurring entirely in solution (no roasting is required), SiLeach® reduces energy consumption. It’s also undertaken at atmospheric pressure, so only simple mechanical components are necessary.

All metals within the target minerals are soluble in the SiLeach® process, providing the opportunity to generate significant by-product credits, and to produce very clean lithium solutions.

This versatile technology also has applications beyond the recovery of lithium from silicates. For example, it has been tested on refractory gold ores to remove siliceous gangue material from the ore prior to cyanide recovery of gold.

This versatility suggests that SiLeach® could become the benchmark for extraction of a wide range of metals from silicates.

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