Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT) reports it has successfully recovered critical battery metals from spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) in test work undertaken with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).
Including proprietary refining technology developed by Lithium Australia, the test work found that, based on the company’s internal process modelling, the technologies generate LP of 99.9% purity, with expected lithium recoveries of >85%, and overall process recoveries for nickel and cobalt of >90%.
Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said the company aims to produce high-purity Lithium ionm Phosphate (LP) as a precursor for the production of cathode materials.
This will be accomplished using the company’s proprietary LP refining process.
In addition, commercial investigation by Lithium Australia has confirmed the potential to develop a nickel/cobalt concentrate as an alternate feed source for conventional refining.
Mr Griffin said Lithium Australia believes that establishing a supply stream based on recycled battery products will:
- facilitate LIB sustainability;
- avoid batteries being consigned to landfill;
- pave the way for the re-birthing of battery materials; and
- provide an ethical source of battery materials, cobalt in particular.
“Successfully recovering a precursor of such high purity for the production of new LIBs from material otherwise destined for landfill is a huge step forward for the battery industry,” Mr Griffin said.
Lithium Australia, together with its partner Envirostream Australia, is investigating the commercial potential of this breakthrough. Right now we’re in discussion with consumers of lithium, nickel and cobalt – both within Australia and overseas – and we see huge potential for a local battery recycling industry.”