Lithium Australia NL (‘LIT’) has one over-arching goal: the application of its disruptive processing technologies to the production of lithium chemicals on a commercial scale and at an operating cost in the lowest quartile.
To achieve its ends, LIT is:
- procuring access to feed materials with low exposure to mining costs;
- processing materials considered waste by other operators;
- developing strong strategic partnerships, and
- maintaining equity in resource projects globally.
LIT believes sustainability equates to viability with respect to both the manufacture and disposal of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).
Aside from processing ore rejected as waste by other mining operations, LIT ‘s disruptive extraction technologies could be part of the solution to battery recycling, in that stockpiles of discarded electronic/battery waste may actually be the best and cheapest source of essential energy metals (among them lithium and cobalt) that have already been mined and concentrated to manufacture the LIBs.
LIT recognises the need for resource security when developing SiLeach® processing hubs and, as a result, has taken positions in major lithium provinces around the globe.
Further, LIT is negotiating farm-out positions on a number of its exploration properties in return for first right of refusal on product generated from those areas, thereby retaining access to the supply chain without spending high-risk exploration dollars to realise reserves.
Finally, LIT maintains a watching brief globally, to identify projects that fit its exploration and development profile
Electra project – Sonora, Mexico
The Electra project (LIT 54%, Alix Resources Corporation 46%) is a farm-in and joint venture in which LIT can earn up to 65% of the project from its Canadian-based partner Alix Resources Corporation. LIT moved to a controlling stake in the project in October 2017, following a successful drill programme that confirmed a new, 2.5-kilometre (‘km’) long mineralised zone at this Mexican lithium clay project. View more
MetalsTech – Quebec, Canada
LIT has formed a technology alliance with MetalsTech Limited (‘MTC’). The latter company aims to identify, acquire, explore and develop high-grade hard-rock lithium projects in Quebec, Canada and has also begun exploring for cobalt since it listed. LIT was a seed investor in MTC, with a view to establishing a partnership and collaborative agreement for the use of LIT’s proprietary lithium-extraction technologies, including further development of the technology specific to the spodumene at MTC’s projects in Quebec. A technology licence agreement exists between the companies and LIT was issued a further 1 million shares when MTC listed on the Australian Securities Exchange on 24 February 2017. LIT now holds a total of 2 million shares (2.43%) in MTC, with the ability to increase that holding subject to certain milestones under the technology licence agreement. View more
Sadisdorf – Saxony, Germany
LIT has entered into a memorandum of understanding (‘MoU’) and now a joint venture agreement with unlisted Tin International AG (a subsidiary of German-listed Deutsche Rohstoff AG) to form the Tin International Joint Venture, which pertains to the Sadisdorf deposit in Saxony, Germany. To date, Tin International AG has received a one-off payment of €50,000 and 1.72 million LIT shares. LIT has the right to earn 15% of the proposed incorporated joint venture company by spending a total of €750,000, either on exploration or as a cash payment to Tin International AG by 30 June 2018. By investing a further €1.25 million over a 3-year period, LIT earns the right to increase its interest in the joint-venture company to 50%. View more
LIT/PLS technology alliance View more
Venus Metals MoU View more
Hillside View more
Goldfields region, Western Australia View more
Coolgardie Rare Metals Venture (‘CRMV’) View more
Goldfields Lithium Alliance View more
Seabrook Rare Metals Venture (‘SRMV’) View more
Ravensthorpe View more
Greenbushes View more
Stanifer View more
Gascoyne View more
Lake Johnston View more
Cobalark View more
Cape York region, Queensland View more
Cape York View more
Amber View more
Cobree View more
Bynoe, Northern Territory View more
Kangaroo Island, South Australia View more
LITHIUM AUSTRALIA PREPARES FEED FOR LARGE-SCALE PILOT PLANT
• Lithium Australia proceeding with front-end engineering and design for its large-scale SiLeach® pilot
• Feed sources for the first 12 months of operation being assessed.
• Ore sorting testwork results at Lepidolite Hill result in positive beneficiation.
• Potential for the Very Small Particle Company ('VSPC') to convert mine waste to lithium-ion cathode
As Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT) proceeds with the final steps in engineering design for its planned LSPP, it is assessing feed sources for the first 12 months of operation.
Intrinsic to Lithium Australia’s strategy of capitalising on various types of mine waste and the delivery of value-added products (lithium chemicals or cathode powders for lithium-ion batteries) is its identification of source materials and the most practical means of generating appropriate LSPP feed from such sources.
Lepidolite Hill – potential feed of lithium mica
The Lepidolite Hill lithium deposit – located about 520 kilometres east of Perth (Western Australia) and part of the Coolgardie Rare Metals Venture, an initiative of Lithium Australia (80%) and ASX-listed Focus Minerals Limited (ASX: FML) (20%) – has been the subject of recent innovative beneficiation testwork.
At Lepidolite Hill, the lithium mineralisation consists of petalite and lepidolite in a thick pegmatite that remains exposed in the quarry walls, with further large lepidolite accumulations exposed at surface at the southern end of the of the quarry.
In the 1970s, petalite (a lithium alumino-silicate) was recovered during mining operations but the abundant lepidolite also mined in the 400,000-tonne campaign was consigned to the dumps. That lepidolite is associated with accessory petalite, spodumene and pollucite (a cesium mineral).
INTERNATIONAL PATENT PROCEDURE CONFIRMS THE SILEACH® PROCESS OF LITHIUM AUSTRALIA NL (ASX: LIT) AS NOVEL AND INVENTIVE, WITH INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
As International Preliminary Examining Authority, The Australian Patent Office has deemed Lithium Australia's SiLeach® technology – a process for extracting and recovering lithium values from lithiumbearing materials – both novel and inventive and says it meets the requirements for Industrial Applicability. In so doing, it has confirmed that the SiLeach® process is patentable, paving the way for the grant of corresponding patents for the SiLeach® process around the world.
In February 2017, Lithium Australia submitted an international patent application for the SiLeach® process under the Patent Cooperation Treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation. A rigorous 'preliminary' examination of the patent claims conducted by the Australian Patent Office ensued, leading to confirmation in the International Preliminary Report on Patentability – which acts as a persuasive guide to national and regional patent offices– that the SiLeach® process is indeed 'Novel,
Inventive, Industry Applicable and Patentable'.
Lithium Australia's international patent application for its SiLeach® technology ensures pending patent protection in 148 countries.
Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin commented as follows:
The grant of patents for SiLeach® will bolster Lithium Australia's desire to create greater sustainability in the lithium industry by capitalising on the abundance of lithium-bearing waste materials. It will also dovetail perfectly with our interest in VSPC cathode production technology, giving us the ability to process mine waste right through to the production of battery cathodes. Currently, no other company has the tools required to achieve this sustainability goal.
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Lithium Australia completing acquisition of high-margin lithium-ion cathode company
• Lithium Australia has received acceptances to buy 99.7% of VSPC’s issued capital.
• VSPC's technology base provides exposure to the most profitable process step in the battery production cycle – the manufacture of cathode powders.
• Batteries produced from VSPC cathode materials outperform industry benchmarks.
• Lithium Australia will expedite re-commissioning of the VSPC pilot plant, with a view to providing a range of cathode materials for assessment by major battery manufacturers.
Just 48 hours after lodgment of compliance documents for its takeover offer of cathode powder producer the Very Small Particle Company (VSPC), Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT) has received acceptances for 99.7% of VSPC’s issued capital.
VSPC is the brainchild of a number of prominent Queensland (Australia) based university research workers, who spent 14 years and approximately A$30 million developing what Lithium Australia believes to be the world’s most advanced cathode production technology for lithium-ion batteries.
The VSPC process has the ability to precisely control the particle size and chemistry of cathode powders, using patented technology to generate the initial particle directly from solution. This greatly simplifies the production process, improves quality control and reduces cost. The particle genesis is compatible with other energy-metal technologies being developed by Lithium Australia, which include the recycling of lithium-ion batteries (via RCARC) and production of lithium chemicals from unconventional sources (via SiLeach®).
The addition of VSPC to Lithium Australia's technology base not only provides it with exposure to the most profitable process step in the battery production cycle – the manufacture of cathode powders – but also 'closes the loop' of the energy-metal cycle by enabling the rebirth of used materials in the form of new battery cathode powders