Lithium Australia awarded second Federal Government grant

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) claimed strengthened support from the Federal Government just as the company moves to commercialise its Sileach process for recovering metals, lithium in particular, from silicate minerals.

LIT informed the market that the Government has granted the Perth-based company a second Innovations Connections Grant under the Entrepreneur’s Program run by the Federal Department of Industry and Science.

This follows a grant the company was awarded in March 2016 and complements the MRIWA grant awarded to LIT in August, for commercialisation of impurity removal and by-product generation during production of battery-grade lithium.

Under the terms of the latest grant, Lithium Australia said the additional funding of $50,000 will assist with laboratory scale optimisation carried out by LIT’s partner ANSTO Minerals (a division of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation), focusing on the application of the Sileach process to aid the recovery of lithium.

The Sileach process is designed to recover lithium from silicates without the expensive roasting step that has long been the mainstay of the lithium recovery process.

“Lithium Australia’s Sileach process has the potential to catapult Australia into the forefront of the lithium battery boom by supplying optimal grade and purity material from low-energy production of lithium chemicals,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said Iin the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“These chemicals can be produced from a range of minerals, including spodumene.

“We welcome the Federal and WA Government’s continuing support to be innovative, and this ‘ideas boom’ ideally suits our project development goals.”