Neometals (70%) and Mineral Resources (30%) have jointly developed a patented technology to purify and electrolyse lithium chloride solutions, generated from either hard rock or brine resources, to produce lithium hydroxide. Lithium carbonate can be produced by sparging captured CO2 gas through the lithium hydroxide solution before it is crystallised into a final product.
Evaluation studies indicate significant operating and capital cost savings over the traditional processing routes for the production of lithium hydroxide. Brine producers avoid the need (and cost) to first produce lithium carbonate, before causticizing to produce hydroxide. ELi® avoids the cost and carbon footprint associated with using imported reagents (sodium carbonate – ‘soda ash, sodium hydroxide ‘caustic soda’) and uses electricity to do the heavy lifting.
ELi allows lithium chemical production at the brine/hard rock source using stored renewable energy with the lowest carbon footprint at lowest quartile costs. Neometals aims to pilot test the process with a partner and generate licensing revenue.