Lithium Australia’s Sileach process wins WA government grant

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX-LIT) announced that the Western Australian Government, under the guidance of the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), has approved a grant of $195,632.

The grant is in regards to MRIWA Application M479: Solution purification and valuable by-products formation during the production of battery-grade lithium and relates to Lithium Australia’s determination to work with science partners to commercialise the company’s low-energy, low-cost and exclusive trademarked Sileach processing technology to produce lithium extractions from lithium bearing silicates.

Corporate sponsorship of MRIWA’s project module will be provided by Lithium Australia and Venus Metals Corporation (ASX: VMC) – the two companies having executed a Memorandum of Understanding to initially test the commercial lithium potential of VMC’s holdings in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The area of focus will be Venus’ Pilgangoora project, southeast of Port Hedland.

The MRIWA project module will test processing solutions generated from pilot testing at ANSTO Minerals (a division of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation).

Lithium Australia explained these tests will aim to establish the most effective commercial outcome for recovering products produced by the company’s halogen-based Sileach process.

The MRIWA grant will fund test work being undertaken at Murdoch University, Perth (WA) on solutions generated from batch testing the Sileach process and will extend to solutions then produced from continuous pilot testing.

“It is anticipated the latter will be available in September 2016,” Lithium Australia said in its ASX announcement.

“If the laboratory and pilot plant testing is successful, Lithium Australia plans to establish a number of processing hubs with locations targeted around growing lithium resource bases in Australia, North America and Europe.”