After three years of intensive research and development, we have invented a low-energy, chemical-free process for physically separating the mica in granite that contains lithium.
Innovate UK funded part of the necessary research and development work and Innovate UK Edge, which provides businesses with growth and scale support, has provided the legal expertise required to file a patent application at the UK Intellectual Property Office. Having achieved that milestone, the invention now has official ‘patent pending’ status.
“We’re delighted that our first patent is now pending and are very grateful to the UK government for their continued support and funding, which has been pivotal to our work,” said CEO Andrew Smith.
“Our Mi-Sep ® process for extracting and concentrating lithium-mica from Cornish granite reduces the mass requiring subsequent treatment by 80% without use of chemicals and is therefore significantly more sustainable than other existing methods. We have a number of breakthrough technologies for extracting lithium from mica and anticipate further patent applications in the near future.
“Our aim has always been to develop lithium production with the lowest environmental footprint possible and that’s why the new technology we are patenting is powered by renewable energy.”