Lithium Australia Readies to Pilot Test Spodumene Conversion Process

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) is ready to push the go button to pilot test the company’s LieNA® spodumene conversion process.

Lithium Australia’s self-developed LieNA® hydrometallurgical process differs to processes used by conventional converters, in that it requires no roasting, is capable of handling very fine spodumene particles and exhibits superior impurity rejection during the lithium recovery process.

In February the company received a grant under the Australian federal government’s CRC-P (Co-operative Research Centre Projects) initiative, to support the next stage of its $3.6 million research and development program for the recovery of lithium from spodumene using LieNA®.

Much of the preparatory work has now been completed, including collection of an initial test sample recovered from drill chips and bench-scale test work to characterise the flotation conditions required for pilot-plant production of concentrates from the drill chip sample, optimise caustic conversion conditions and confirm the final autoclave design specification.

“Lithium Australia’s LieNA® technology is the pinnacle for hydrometallurgical processing of spodumene, the principal hard-rock source of lithium,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“LieNA® is capable of recovering lithium from fine and/or contaminated spodumene that fails to meet the feed specifications of current converters.

“It also provides the highest levels of impurity rejection.

“It is these characteristics that set it apart.

“LieNA®, then, is designed to improve overall recovery and achieve better utilisation of existing resources: it’s about cost reduction, sustainability and maximising the benefit of our critical (and finite) resources.”