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MinRes invests in game-changing lithium extraction technology

Mineral Resources (MinRes) has entered into a joint development agreement with Lithium Australia to further develop technology that has the potential to be a game-changer in lithium extraction.

MinRes will invest up to $4.5 million to fund the development and operation of a pilot plant and an engineering study for a demonstration plant, as well as supply the raw materials.

Lithium Australia’s LieNA technology has the potential to enhance lithium extraction yields by up to 50% over current market performance, the ASX-listed company said in a statement on Monday.

The patented technology is underpinned by recovering lithium from fine and low-grade spodumene, improving mining efficiency, sustainability and potential profitability.

Subject to the results of the pilot plant, MinRes and Lithium Australia will form a 50:50 joint venture to own and commercialise the LieNA technology through a licensing model.

Under the license agreement with the joint venture, MinRes can elect to sole fund, develop and operate a demonstration scale plant that will aim to extract lithium salt at a commercial scale.

MinRes Chief Executive, Lithium Joshua Thurlow said: “Lithium Australia’s LieNA technology has the potential to significantly boost lithium extraction efficiency from hard rock mines.

“Our preliminary testing with Lithium Australia has yielded promising results and warranted this investment to further develop the technology.

“The goal is to fast track the commercialisation of LieNA to drive efficiencies and initially extract more value from our two world-class lithium operations in Western Australia.”

Lithium Australia Chief Executive Officer Simon Linge added: “We are thrilled by the formation of a new partnership with Mineral Resources, one of Australia’s largest and most prominent mining companies.

“MinRes is the perfect partner to complement our leading lithium extraction technology, given its extensive owned operations and strategic movement downstream into the battery materials sector.”