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Lithium Australia turns to refining for batteries

Lithium Australia has produced lithium iron phosphate, or “LFP”, batteries using lithium phosphate that was refined using a simple process it developed in conjunction with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, or “ANSTO”.

The process takes lithium phosphate produced using the company’s proprietary “SiLeach” process and removes impurities to generate a high-purity refined product.

SiLeach can extract lithium phosphate from lower-grade ores such as waste micas without the need for expensive, energy-hungry roasting.

Whilst Lithium Australia has previously produced LFP batteries from unrefined lithium phosphate, management expects LFP products produced using refined lithium phosphate to have significant advantages compared to those produced using lithium carbonate.

Managing Director Adrian Griffin said: “The lithium phosphate refining process is cheap, effective and provides the means to produce high-purity materials with consistent quality. These properties are of paramount importance as we work with leading Chinese battery producer, DLG, to commercialise VSPC cathode powder.”

“When compared with other lithium chemicals, high-purity lithium phosphate is a winner when it comes to producing LFP batteries, providing two of the fundamental components for the generation of the cathode while simultaneously eliminating the requirement for lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide.”

Earlier this month, Lithium Australia signed a letter of intent with one of China’s ten largest battery manufacturers to establish an equal joint venture to supply and sell lithium-ion battery cells, packs and modules in Australia.

The deal with DLG Battery covers the manufacture of packs and modules in Australia, the production of batteries using technology from the two companies for both local and global markets and the provision of battery recycling solutions through Lithium Australia’s recycling business unit.

Lithium Australia and DLG will also form a technology alliance to fast track commercialisation of VSPC Ltd’s technology for the production of lithium cathode powders for use in DLG batteries.

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