Lithium production technology developer Lithium Australia and miner Mineral Resources will jointly develop Lithium’s LieNA extraction technology.
The two companies signed a joint development agreement which will see MinRes solely fund the development and operation of a pilot plant to cost up to $4.5 million and provide raw materials to test the novel technology.
Following that the companies plan to form a 50:50 joint venture to own and commercialise the LieNA technology under a licensing model.
The JV will initially licence the technology to a larger demonstration plant which MinRes can elect to independently fund, develop and operate.
Subject to results, the companies plan to license the technology to other companies – a royalty of eight percent for third party use of the technology is envisaged.
Lithium Australis CEO Simon Linge said: “MinRes is the perfect partner to complement our leading lithium extraction technology, given its extensive owned operations and strategic movement downstream into the battery materials sector.
“Securing a development partner…serves as a powerful validation of oiur patented technology.”
Lithium Australia has been working with ANSTO Minerals to solve the lithum sector’s problems extracting lithium from fine-spodumene ores.
Supported by a Cooperative Research Centre Project grant, the company has previously announced a pilot plant testing the caustic digest of spodumene – in effect it generates a phase change in solution rather than a furnace in traditional processes.
Subject to the results of the latest joint pilot plant testing, the LieNA technology will apply to MinRes’s current and future projects – the company is a major lithium player with a market capitalisation of $13.6 billion and revenues of $3.4 million.
According to Lithium Australia, the LieNA technology enhances lithium extraction yields by up to 50 percent.
Lithium Australia moves to lithium pilot plant production
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