Tech Metals: Lithium Australia takes another step forward with new extraction technology
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Tech metals play Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) wants to improve efficiency rates for lithium extraction.
The company is continuing with R&D for its LieNA technology, which aims to improve recovery rates for lithium from hard-rock spodumene sources.
This morning, Lithium Australia announced another step forward in the project with the receipt of a ‘Notice of Acceptance’ from IP Australia for the company’s existing patent application.
The company said the preliminary acceptance was “vindication of the value of its intellectual property” developed so far in the R&D process.
Shares in the company found some momentum in morning trade, climbing by as much as 12 per cent at the opening bell.
In addition to the IP Australia news, Lithium Australia said the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) had published a second-generation patent application for the LieNA technology, which included an update on application improvements announced in January.
The company said the new publication marked another step forward as it sought “legal protection in international jurisdictions”.
Success rates from conventional spodumene-extraction processes vary, but they can be as low as 50 per cent, Lithium Australia said.
The LieNA technology doesn’t require a roasting stage, which allows it to extract lithium from fine spodumene that otherwise goes to waste during the concentration process.
Managing director Adrian Griffin said while the technology had the capacity to improve mining economics, it could also “provide a means of producing lithium-ion batteries that includes fewer processing steps and better quality control”.
Lithium miner Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) confirmed that it submitted a bid for North American Lithium in Québec, Canada. The company said its bid had a unique synergy advantage, where it could combine lithium produced from its Authier project with the lithium at the NAL site, “facilitating a significant improvement in plant performance and economics”.