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Novalith’s LiCAL lithium extraction and refining tech receives funding boost

Novalith Technologies says it has successfully raised A$2.5 million ($1.9 million) in a seed funding round, which will help accelerate the development of its Australia-made lithium extraction and refining technology to provide a low carbon, sustainable approach to lithium production.

Its technology aims to substantially reduce production costs, improve sustainability outcomes, and ultimately revolutionise the global battery supply chain, Novalith says.

The CEFC, through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, has made a A$1.5 million investment in Novalith’s A$2.5 million seed round, which also drew support from the US-based venture capital investor, The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust’s Neglected Climate Opportunities LLC.

The funding will allow Novalith to finance the build-out and operation of a pilot plant in Sydney, New South Wales, as it moves toward the development of a commercial demonstration plant, the company said.

The Novalith LiCAL™ technology transforms the conventional production process, drawing on intellectual property developed by chemical engineer Professor Brian Haynes, Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney, Novalith said.

“Novalith’s unique process for extracting lithium sequesters carbon dioxide thereby reducing emissions, eliminates the need for conventionally consumed chemicals and minimises waste footprints,” the company said. “The Novalith approach also negates the need for extensive off-shore processing, enabling Australian-produced lithium ore to be processed closer to mine site, further strengthening the sustainability of the supply chain.”

CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth, said: “The Novalith technology has the potential to change the nature of lithium production, offering an exciting opportunity for Australia to become a major processing, manufacturing and trading hub for lithium resources. Large batteries will play a transformative role in our energy future, enabling Australia to maximise the benefits of our abundant renewable resources and accelerate our transition to a low emissions economy.”

“As the largest lithium miner in the world, it is vital that we secure critical mineral supply chains to develop sovereign capability for the industry and to be more competitive globally. By investing in this ground-breaking Novalith technology, we are backing the development of a competitive sustainable business of the future.”

Novalith Founder and CEO, Steven Vassiloudis (pictured), said: “Novalith can be an important part of sustainable supply solutions, as well as help resource owners process lithium on-shore, localising critical battery materials supply chains.

“The future of lithium mining and refining will require the elimination of carbon-intensive energy sources, and ideally turn carbon waste into carbon value. This is what we are working towards. Novalith’s technology uses significantly less equipment, chemical reagents, water and energy than conventional processing, which reduces capital and production costs. The direct use and sequestration of CO2 in producing lithium chemicals also produces a much smaller emissions footprint.”