Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) has received critical notice for its innovative lithium extraction technology for removing fine and variable-grade spodumene technology.
The acknowledgement of the uniqueness of Lithium Australia’s second generation LieNA technology is another important step as the company moves towards patenting the process.
A report from the International Preliminary Examining Authority notes that all claims in the company’s patent application are considered novel, involve an inventive step and are industrially applicable.
Managing Director, Adrian Griffin, said this endorsement means that Lithium Australia can now take the next step to progress its patent application.
Further recognition of Lithium Australia’s 100% owned LienNA technology by the International Preliminary Examining Authority comes hard on the heels of the Federal Government grant to the company for the construction of a pilot plant that will advance the process towards commercialisation,” Mr Griffin said.
“Recovering material that would otherwise go to waste is a fundamental building block in Lithium Australia’s quest to enhance sustainability, reduce costs and negate environmental impacts throughout the battery production cycle.
“If we as a society want to maintain current living standards, we cannot afford to squander resources and need to minimise our environmental footprint.
“Commercialisation of LieNA will take the lithium industry one step closer to achieving that goal.”
Hard-rock lithium production has a major sustainability issue; that is, poor overall recoveries of lithium from spodumene.
The LieNA process developed by Lithium Australia NL, in collaboration with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) can reduce the footprint of mining operations, recover lithium from fine and variable-grade spodumene that otherwise reports to waste or tailings streams during current concentration processes, lessen environmental impacts overall and enhance sustainability.
Lithium Australia continues to work towards commercialisation of its proprietary LieNA technology for improving the recovery of lithium from spodumene. In February 2020, Karen Andrews, Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, announced that the company was a successful CRC-P grant recipient for Round 8.
Lithium Australia will receive $1.3 million from the CRC-P round 8 programme to progress to the next development stage of its second-generation LieNA technology, the total project cost of which is $3.6 million.