SiLeach System Recovers Lithium From Mica
Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT) has received a ‘Notice of Allowance’ from the US Patent and Trademark Office for its SiLeach patent application.
The company’s lithium chemical division has partnered with the best technical expertise available, including at ANSTO, to develop lithium extraction technologies, with a focus on waste materials. Those waste materials can be classified as: lithium micas; fine spodumene, and spent LIBs.
Lithium Australia has lodged patent applications for most of the technology emanating from its R&D programmes. Those technologies include the following.
- SiLeach for the recovery of lithium and other valuable by-products from mica.
- LieNA for the recovery of lithium from spodumene concentrates, with an emphasis on the fine and/or low-grade spodumene.
- Recovery of lithium as a tri-lithium phosphate.
- Refining of tri-lithium phosphate to achieve an ultra-pure (>99.9% Li3PO4) substance.
The production of tri-lithium phosphate is a common thread in the company’s proprietary extraction technologies.
This lithium chemical is a key ingredient in the production of lithium ferro phosphate (LFP), the material that will power Tesla 3 electric vehicles (EVs) not only in China but elsewhere around the globe. LFP provides a much safer alternative to more conventional LIB chemistries and does so at a much-reduced production cost.
Lithium Australia MD, Adrian Griffin, says EV makers in China are reportedly very confident that demand for LFP will continue to grow. Indeed, their support of this market is such that leading Chinese LFP LIB producer BYD plans to upgrade its LFP production capacity eight-fold this year, with others to follow.
“Granting of the US SiLeach patent at a time of increased interest in the extraction of lithium from clays in north America is very timely … even more so as LFP is the most rapidly expanding sector of the LIB industry,” Mr Griffin said.
“Both the lithium and phosphorus required to manufacture LFP are produced by SiLeach as a single lithium chemical.
“Anyone with a lithium mica or clay deposit is welcome to get in touch and see what we can offer, as are cathode producers interested in discussing a more direct route to LFP synthesis using VSPC cathode powder production technology.”