Battery minerals company Lava Blue has received a $5.2 million grant under the federal Government’s Critical Minerals Accelerator Initiative to develop processes for refining critical minerals used in the lithium-ion battery supply chain.
Managing Director of Lava Blue Michael McCann said the grant would contribute to a $12 million Queensland project over the next two and half years.
McCann said: “This grant will allow Lava Blue processes to be applied to recovery of a number of valuable minerals from vanadium pentoxide processing waste, including high purity alumina and potentially magnesium and residual vanadium.
“The outcome will be to greatly improve the economics of vanadium recovery and provide new supplies of high-purity minerals into global battery supply chains.”
The company plans to scale-up processes for recovery of high-purity minerals at the Lava Blue Centre for Predictive Research into Specialty Materials (PRiSM), at Redlands Research Park in Brisbane.
Lava Blue has already invested nearly $10 million dollars in research and development into production of high purity alumina used in the separator between battery anodes and cathodes and into the development of PRiSM.
McCann said: “Battery minerals are not industrial metals.
“The high degrees of processing control required for materials to feed into battery manufacturing are at a totally different level to normal mineral processing.
“However, Australia is rapidly developing the capacity to produce battery materials and help drive the massive historical transition to a carbon-constrained, renewable energy future.”
Lava Blue chairman Sylvia Tulloch said battery minerals and energy metals needed over the next two decades could displace energy services currently supplied by around five billion tonnes of coal and 36 billion barrels of oil every year.
Lava Blue is working with critical minerals developer Queensland Pacific Metals Ltd, Brisbane based vanadium developer the Vecco Group, Clough Engineering, Stantec and world leading researchers at QUT in developing the battery minerals centre of excellence at PRiSM.