Lithium Australia and its research partners have received a Co-Operative Research Centre Projects grant to pursue their $3.6 million project developing new methods for extracting lithium from spodumene rock.
Lithium will receive $1.3 million from the CRC-P to boost the recovery of lithium which can be as low as 50 per cent using conventional processing.
The company’s VSPC subsidiary will work with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Murdoch and Curtin Universities, Pioneer Resources Ltd, ALS Melallurgy, and Carnac Project Delivery Services.
They are developing a process which can recover lithium from fine spodumene in waste and tailings streams from conventional concentration processes.
Lithium’s LieNA process consists of a caustic digestion step followed by acid leaching, and does not require a roasting stage.
The company and ANSTO have already carried out bench-scale testing of the technology, achieving lithium recovery of more than 85 per cent.
The partners will now construct a batch autoclave pilot plant at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights facilities (pictured) in New South Wales.
Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.