Mineral Resources (MinRes) and Lithium Australia have joined forces through a collaborative development agreement to make an investment in LieNA Technology for extracting lithium.
The LieNA Technology is based on the concept of retrieving lithium from fine and low-grade spodumene, which is typically discarded as waste material. This approach aims to enhance mining efficiency, sustainability, and the potential for increased profitability
Lithium Australia will oversee the production process of the pilot plant as well. Should the outcomes of the pilot plant prove successful, MinRes and Lithium Australia will establish a joint venture (JV) on a 50:50 basis. This venture will take ownership of and bring the LieNA technology to the market using a licensing approach.
Within the prospective joint venture, MinRes has the option to independently provide funding, lead the development, and manage the operations of a demonstration-scale facility. This facility will be designed to extract lithium salt on a commercial level.
Total investment for the LieNA Technology.
MinRes will make a $4.5 million investment in Lithium Australia to support the development and operation of a pilot plant, conduct an engineering study for a demonstration plant, and provide the necessary raw materials.
As per the terms of the agreement, Lithium Australia will bring its patented LieNA technology into the partnership. This technology holds the promise of improving lithium extraction yields by as much as 50 percent compared to current market standards
“Lithium Australia’s LieNA technology holds the promise of substantially enhancing the efficiency of lithium extraction from hard rock mines,” stated Joshua Thurlow, the Chief Executive of Lithium at MinRes.
“Our initial testing in collaboration with Lithium Australia has produced encouraging outcomes, justifying this investment to advance the technology. The objective is to expedite the commercialization of LieNA, with the aim of improving efficiency and initially increasing value extraction from our two exceptional lithium operations in Western Australia.”
Lithium Australia’s CEO, Simon Linge, expressed excitement about the collaboration with MinRes.
“We’re delighted to partner with MinRes. Their comprehensive proprietary operations and strategic expansion into the battery materials sector make them an ideal match for our advanced lithium extraction technology,” Linge remarked.
MinRes has also recently invested $26.6 million in Binding Solutions, aimed at diminishing energy consumption and emissions in the iron ore pellet production process.