Lithium Australia locks in patent

Lithium Australia has received its certificate of grant from IP Australia guaranteeing up to 20 years of patent protection relating to its “LieNA” lithium processing technology. LieNA takes fine lithium spodumene ore and concentrates it by up to and greater than 85%. Traditional recovery methods are currently as low as 50%, with the rest going to waste, according to Lithium Australia.

The utilisation of waste from the minerals processing industry is an opportunity being explored by a plethora of listed companies across a range of minerals currently and the granting of a patent for Lithium Australia is the end game after a long research and development program.

Lithium Australia is not only aiming to convert a waste product into a valuable by-product, but also significantly reduce the input energy required for the lithium beneficiation process. LieNA uses a chemical concentration process rather than the traditional and expensive energy intensive roasting process.

Lithium Australia Managing Director Adrian Griffin said: "Lithium Australia continues its emphasis on developing novel solutions to lithium processing problems. Commercialisation of the LieNA process is an opportunity to improve the sustainability of the lithium-ion battery industry.”

“We see an immediate application for it in Australia, which produces well over half the world’s lithium requirements and nearly all of the spodumene needed; 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 to recover lithium from it. That problem may be solved with more efficient processing – and that remains our focus.”

As the green wave continues to sweep across the globe and the electric vehicle market really starts to kick, patent protected processing technologies such as this one will become more and more valuable.  


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