Lithium Australia launches pilots production of Lithium-ion battery material

Lithium Australia has announced the commencement of lithium-ion cathode material production at the company’s re-comissioned research and development laboratory, VSPC, in Brisbane.

The lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery cathode material produced at VSPC has been tested and approved for use in battery production, according to the company’s announcement.

The announcement by Lithium Australia noted that international battery makers have previously shown strong interest in VSPC’s 4th-generation LFP cathode material. In tests completed late in 2017, the performance of VSPC’s cathode material exceeded that of an industry standard material.

The quality and consistency of VSPC’s pilot-production materials are currently being verified via the company’s on-site electrochemical testing facilities, the capabilities of which include the ability to assemble and test lithium-ion coin and pouch cells.

Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said the company intended to turn VSPC into a global facility for manufacturing advanced cathode materials as well as for battery recycling.

“VSPC gives Lithium Australia the opportunity to manufacture the world’s most advanced cathode materials – at the high-margin end of the battery metals market. Importantly, VSPC will also allow us to capitalise on waste batteries as a feed source,” he said.

Lithium Australia aims to improve the lithium-ion battery supply chain by virtue of technologies that include its SiLeach lithium extraction process, cathode material production at VSPC, and recycling techniques for battery materials.

“We anticipate immense pressure on the supply of energy metals such as lithium and cobalt in the near future. Battery recycling not only supports sustainability but may also, ultimately, prove the cheapest source of those energy metals materials in years to come,” Griffin said.

“The ability to produce cathode powders from these materials, while also controlling particle size, is clearly advantageous. It is an integral part of our sustainable and ethical supply policy,” he said.