Lithium Australia greenlights pilot tests for LieNA® lithium recovery process

Image Credit: Hilary Halliwell from Pexels

Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) will soon pilot test its LieNA® spodumene conversion process that recovers lithium chemicals from the lithium-containing ore with minimal loss.

The initial pilot-plant test run scheduled for September this year will be completed with a pre-feasbility study of the LieNA® process.

Lithium Australia revealed that construction of critical pilot-plant components prepared from spodumene-bearing drill chips has already begun, with order for autoclave already in place.

LieNA® conversion process

Spodumene, an important source of lithium metals used in the manufacture of batteries, is converted to concentrates for commercial use.

However, during conversion, between 25% and 50% of the lithium within the ore fed to the concentrator is lost when conventional recovery processes are followed.

Furthermore, most operating converters cannot use fine material as feed, resulting in less-than-optimal recoveries and higher operational costs.

Lithium Australia claims its LieNA® hydrometallurgical process addresses the issue of recovery loss and feed rejection, given that LieNA® requires no roasting, and is capable of handling very fine spodumene particles.

“Lithium Australia’s LieNA® technology is the pinnacle for hydrometallurgical processing of spodumene, the principal hard-rock source of lithium,” said Lithium Australia MD Adrian Grifin.

“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.”