Researcher: Chris Griffith
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Minerals
Lithium extraction without roasting
Lithium Australia NL is working toward controlling the greatest lithium (Li) resource base of any entity worldwide, producing low-cost, battery-grade Li carbonate and hydroxide. In order to achieve this, new processing technologies are being developed which are energy and cost efficient, and which are tailorable depending on the feedstock employed.
This breakthrough will enable more competitive processing of spodumene and commercial recovery of lithium from neglected sources such as mica.
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Minerals’ long-standing process development history and association with Australian industry has been utilised to optimise the extraction of lithium from all types of lithium-bearing silicates.
The aim of the project is to better define the nature of the dissolution reactions, optimise leach kinetics, and design process flowsheets applicable to the recovery of lithium from spodumene and other silicates.
This will enable the company to reduce costs for the production of high value-added lithium chemicals, to the point where it could compete with producers in lower-cost environments such as Chile or China. This should place Lithium Australia NL in a strong position to supply a market which is tipped to treble in the coming years.