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Lepidico - Lithium Carbonate Process Developed


Lepidico Ltd (ASX:LPD) (“Lepidico” or “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has lodged a provisional patent application for the production of nominal battery grade specification lithium carbonate from a LOH-Max® intermediate crude lithium hydroxide via the sequestration of carbon dioxide – planned to be captured from the upstream L-Max® process – followed by refining. The new process is designed so that it can be integrated with either L-Max® and/or LOH-Max® or potentially in the chemical conversion of spodumene concentrates.

Growing need for lithium chemical flexibility

It is evident from discussions with both lithium-ion battery cathode manufacturers and electric vehicle (EV) makers that there is an emerging need for lithium chemical companies to be able to efficiently switch between production of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. Automakers are broadening out their range of EV models that employ both lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and high nickel content nickel-cobalt-manganese oxide (NCM), as well as other existing and evolving cathode chemistries. Adoption of a mixed cathode strategy such as this will likely require supplies of both lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, in quantities that are currently difficult to determine, due to the uncertainty of future demand for different categories of EVs, be it for example compact, mid-range or prestige passenger vehicles, or light commercial vehicles.

Lepidico has received positive feedback from lithium chemical consumers within the EV supply chain for integrating functionality that provides the flexibility to produce both hydroxide and carbonate from the Phase 1 Plant. Offtake discussions are progressing well and the lodgement of the provisional patent for this new process will allow for optionality to be included in offtake agreements.

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