Lithium Australia wins protection over metal extraction technology

Lithium technology company Lithium Australia has been granted a patent from IP Australia covering its LieNA lithium metal processing technology.

The Perth company is developing mining, processing, battery cathode manufacturing and battery recycling operations, and now receives protection for 20 years for its core technology.

The company and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) are continuing to develop the process which increases the yield of lithium, previously around 50 per cent, which can be extracted from the most common spodumene ore.

The process of caustic digestion followed by acid leaching to recover desired lithium chemicals recovers greater than 85 per cent of the metal.

Managing director Adrian Griffin said there was an immediate application for the technology in Australia, which produces over half the world’s lithium and nearly all its spodumene.

“However significant quantities of the latter never make it into the process supply chain.

“The problem starts with the very nature of the mineral and the processes currently used.

“That problem may be solved with more efficient processing.”

Picture: Lithium Australia

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