Lithium Australia has launched a preliminary feasibility study to determine the possibility of direct production of cathode powders, lithium iron phosphate (LFP) in particular, from mine wastes.
Lithium Australia said the study will be carried out in Germany using mica feed material from the Sadisdorf lithium/tin deposit.
The company intends to move battery production in Australia and believes the combination of domestic supply, direct production of cathode powders, and local manufacture of LFP batteries would provide not only supply chain security but long-term security for the energy industry as well.
“Recovery of the mica, and direct production of cathode powders from it, is a strategy that enables the domestic supply of cathode materials requiring neither cobalt or nickel, thus providing supply chain security,” Lithium Australia said in a statement.
“Lithium Australia has a suite of technologies – all tested at pilot scale – to deliver high-performance LFP cathode materials from domestic sources into such markets, thereby improving energy security.”
The company, which recently initiated the Australian Battery Consortium in order to pursue similar opportunities in Australia, also plans to monetise its control position in the Electra project in Mexico where it has identified significant mineralisation.