We have applied for two more patents – making a total of three now pending in under three months.
The latest applications are part of an innovative hydro-metallurgical process that uses salt, rather than acid, to extract lithium, the key ingredient in making electric vehicle batteries.
As our head of metallurgy, Dr Klaas Peter van der Wielen has led on the ground-breaking approach.
“Our research and development strategy is focused on finding effective acid-free solutions to extracting and processing lithium,” he said. “The methods we use minimise waste and help protect the environment.”
Chartered patent attorney Kate Butler and her team from Sirius Intellectual Property have been helping us with our applications and the work has been funded by Innovate UK Edge.
“We are making extraordinary advances in our innovative methodology and are very grateful for the UK Government’s financial assistance to date,” said CEO Andrew Smith.
“Our aim is to develop a hard rock quarry and integrated refinery capable of annually producing 20,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate with the most forward-thinking technological and sustainable solutions possible.
“This is another milestone moment in achieving our ambitions.”