Perth-based Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT), focussed on delivering sustainable, efficient processing and production options for the lithium-ion battery (LIB) industry, announced on 14 January 2020, that the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has published two LIT patent applications for the recovery of lithium phosphate from lithium-bearing silicates and solutions. Publication is a key step towards obtaining a patent grant, which provides legal protection in international jurisdictions.
Intellectual property (IP) is a valuable asset derived from the company’s research & development (R&D) activities and managed by way of formal patent processes to retain the ‘know-how’ as trade secrets, with the support of specialist legal practitioners.
Production of lithium phosphate is a unit process common to Lithium Australia’s both SiLeach® and LieNA® technologies, which potentially reduce the number of processing steps to produce battery cathode powders. These innovative processes have resulted in unit process enhancements that optimise the recovery of lithium from low tenor solutions, along with management of water-balance challenges, for delivering high-quality lithium phosphate. These unit processes are the subject of the above-mentioned patent applications.
Patent Applications: Patent application PCT/AU2019/050540 is regarding the company’s technology for recovering lithium phosphate and Li2SO4 (lithium sulphate) from a lithium-bearing solution (brine or pregnant process liquor). During the test-work undertaken before the conclusion of the SiLeach® pilot programme held in August/September 2018, an innovation was developed that resulted in the company applying for a patent protection. This innovative unit process also finds an application in the company’s LieNA® technology.
The second patent application PCT/AU2019/050541, which also includes developments from PCT/AU2019/050540, details additional upgrades in the SiLeach® process.
Lithium phosphate produced through the company’s proprietary technologies meets the specification necessary for its use as feedstock in the production of lithium-ferrophosphate (LFP), a cathode precursor material in the manufacture of batteries for energy-storage system as well as transport applications (electric vehicles).
The Patents granted by the International Bureau of WIPO provide IP protection in jurisdictions governed by WIPO. The publication of Lithium Australia’s patent applications is a crucial fourth step in the seven-step process for the granting of patents within these jurisdictions, which can take several years to achieve.
Stock Performance: Lithium Australia has a market capitalisation of AUD 34.52 million with ~ 556.77 million shares outstanding. On 14 January 2020, the LIT stock settled the day’s trading higher at AUD 0.078, zooming up 25.806% by AUD 0.016 with ~ 14.53 million shares traded.
Also, LIT has delivered positive returns of 19.23% in the last six months, 37.78% in the last three months and 14.81% in the last one month.
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