Lithium Australia moves to lithium pilot plant production

Lithium ion battery materials group Lithium Australia has given the green light to construction of a pilot plant to test its LieNA lithium metal processing technology.

Lithium Australia was recently awarded a Cooperative Research Centre Project grant to support the $3.6 million project to recover lithium from hard rock spodumene ores.

The company will construct the plant at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Lucas Heights facility in Sydney, with partners Murdoch University, Curtin University and Carnac Project Delivery Services.

Bench-level test work has already been completed, however, the project was delayed from 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However the company has now begun to collect initial test ores, construct a bespoke autoclave and fabricate the rest of the plant.

The company recently won patent protection for its process which involves caustic digestion followed by acid leaching to recover desired lithium chemicals.

Lithium chemicals produced will be sent to the company’s VSPC subsidiary in Brisbane where they will be used to generate battery cathode powders and LFP coil-cell lithium ion batteries.

Picture: Lithium Australia

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