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A 100% -owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia NL (ASX: LIT, 'the Company'), VSPC is a developer of advanced battery materials, including lithium ferro phosphate ('LFP') and lithium manganese ferro phosphate ('LMFP') cathode powders. Its proprietary nanotechnology is the subject of international patents
- VSPC Ltd ('VSPC'), a developer and manufacturer of advanced cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries ('LIBs'), is now also producing commercial-quality lithium titanium oxide ('LTO') anode powder.
- The performance of VSPC's LTO exceeds industry benchmarks.
- Furtherresearchanddevelopment, including niobium-based anode powders, is also underway at VSPC.
In addition to producing advanced LFP and LFMP cathode powders, VSPC's pilot plant has now manufactured high-quality LTO, an anode material required for high- performance LIB cells.
Conventionally, LTO is prepared via a solid-state reaction, with titanium dioxide (rutile or anatase) and lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide as the raw materials. The materials are calcined at temperatures above 800° Celsius for a prolonged period (from 12 to 24 hours) to ensure high-phase purity.
Because VSPC's patented, slurry-based process reduces calcination time and ensures consistent phase- and end-product quality, it is ideal for producing LTO. Figures 1(a) & 1(b) below show VSPC's LTO powder at two different magnifications.
Figure 1(a) LTO (scale bar 1µm) and Figure 1(b) LTO (scale bar 100 nm)
Read the full article here.
The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is well underway, but many investors aren’t paying attention to all the metals involved. Lithium, cobalt, and nickel are well-known for their roles in EVs, but manganese remains a forgotten metal. Yet, it’s critical to manufacturing lithium-ion batteries used in EVs and other clean energy technologies. Manganese sulphate monohydrate is part of the battery cathode for lithium-ion batteries found in EVs. Manganese adds substantial chemical stability to the cathode chemistry.
Only a limited number of manganese mineralogies can easily be processed into manganese sulphate monohydrate, as opposed to the majority of industrial manganese applications such as steel making. Unfortunately, less than 2 percent of global manganese consumption is converted into the high-purity manganese that next-gen batteries require. This low figure is primarily due to the lack of easily upgradable manganese mineralogies mined and lack of infrastructure for the purification process. Additionally, 90 percent of battery-grade manganese comes from China, strengthening the world’s dependence on the country. Clearly, the world needs more purified manganese, but where will it come from?
ChemX Materials (ASX:CMX) is a materials technology company focusing on providing the necessary materials the world needs for electrification and decarbonization. The company is driven by its vision to support the energy transition by providing the materials and technologies required to provide real solutions that lower carbon emissions. ChemX’s goals are achieved with a dual-focus approach involving its innovative HiPurA™ high purity alumina (HPA) process and its resource projects on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The company is also focused on maintaining a strong ESG framework over the development of its projects.
ChemX HiPura HPA Flowsheet
ChemX’s HiPurA™ HPA process was developed in-house and can produce high purity alumina (HPA) and high purity aluminum cathode precursor salts for use in lithium-ion batteries, LEDs, and semiconductors. Initial testwork indicates that the novel process is low-cost and low in energy consumption compared to the traditional technologies. Additionally, HiPurA™ HPA is not tied to mine production allowing production to be developed close to the end users . A pre-feasibility study for a pilot plant is underway, and a micro plant is currently nearing completion.
David Leavy, ChemX managing director, said in a recent interview, “The HiPurA™ technology is really aimed at producing high purity alumina for the battery and sapphire markets. The process is not dependent on mining making it easier to establish production facilities close to the end-users. It’s scalable, so we can grow as demand grows, and it’s also modular. The benefit of not being tied to mining operations is we can have production where it needs to be rather than at the mine.”
The company also operates projects in the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia targeting manganese, rare earth elements, kaolin and halloysite. ChemX’s projects on the Eyre Peninsula are located on 2 exploration tenements totaling 718 km2 surrounded by excellent mining infrastructure.
The Jamieson Tank Manganese project is a vertically integrated project aimed at mining and producing High Purity Manganese Sulphate Monohydrate for lithium battery cathodes. Ore Jamieson Tank has recently produced 99.7 percent manganese sulphate purity in the initial testwork program aimed at identifying the optimum process pathway. Further testwork is ongoing with new ore samples taken from the 2022 drilling campaign with the aim of producing a cathode grade material.
An experienced management team leads ChemX. Kristie Young, non-executive chair, brings over 20 years of experience in mining, engineering and project evaluation. David Leavy, managing director, has over 25 years of experience in commodity markets and has five years of experience focusing on HPA production technologies. Executive Director Stephen Strubel with 20 years’ experience across financial markets, mining exploration and corporate governance.
Warrick Hazeldine, non-executive director, brings 20 years of experience in capital markets and strategic communications. The management team is rounded out by experts in metallurgy, chemical engineering, corporate governance, and geology.
- ChemX Materials is a materials technology company focusing on supplying the materials required for decarbonization and electrification.
- The company has developed the HiPurATM HPA process, a novel, innovative process for producing high-purity alumina used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. Testwork has indicated its process is a low-cost and low-energy alternative to conventional processes.
- The HiPurA™ HPA process is not tied to a mining operation allowing ChemX to build production facilities close to the end-users.
- ChemX also owns 2 exploration tenements on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia that focus on manganese, rare earth elements kaolin and halloysite.
- An experienced management team leads the company towards its goals of supporting the world’s transition to clean energy.
HiPurA™ Process Microplant capable of producing up to 5kg of HPA per day
ChemX has developed its innovative HiPurA™ process to produce high purity alumina (HPA), which is a necessary material in manufacturing processes for battery technologies, LEDs, and semiconductors. The company developed this process as a more cost-effective and lower emissions alternative to traditional processes. A provisional patent application has been filed for the process, and a pre-feasibility study for a pilot plant is presently underway.
- Independent of Mine Production: The HiPurA™ process does not rely on any mining operation for its feedstock. This attribute allows for scalable and modular facility construction close to end-users.
- Near-term Development Timeframe: A pre-feasibility study for a pilot plant is presently underway based on the HiPurA technology.
- Multi-Use End Product: The resulting HPA is used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, but it’s also required to manufacture synthetic sapphire. Synthetic sapphire is used in LEDs, semiconductors, and medical devices.
Eyre Peninsula Projects
ChemX Materials has 100 percent ownership of its Eyre Peninsula Projects, covering 718 square kilometers in South Australia. Each project has excellent access to modern infrastructure. The projects target multiple in-demand minerals, including manganese, rare earth elements (REE), kaolin and halloysite.
- Jamieson Tank Manganese Project: A maiden drilling campaign was completed in March 2022. Testwork has confirmed that the ore is suitable for developing battery-grade manganese sulphate.
- REE discoveries identified during the March 2022 drill campaign build confidence in the strong presence of the ionic REE. Additional testwork and exploration will be conducted following assay analysis.
Regional discoveries of ionic REE mineralisation has given confidence in the REE endowment of Kimba
- Kimba Kaolin and Halloysite: This project contains known mineralization of high-quality kaolin with ChemX completing its maiden drilling program in March 2022, covering three known mineralised deposits.
Kristie Young - Non-Executive Chair
Kristie Young has more than 20 years of experience across mining, engineering, project evaluation, professional services (EY & PwC), executive search, business development & advisory, technology & other sectors. Non-Executive Director of Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT), Tesoro Resources Ltd (ASX:TSO); Board member Wesley College WA.
David Leavy - Managing Director
David Leavy has over 25 years of experience in commodity markets. He served as senior executive in advanced mining companies across varying commodities and jurisdictions. He has focused over the past five years HPA production technologies and markets.
Warrick Hazeldine - Non-Executive Director
Warrick Hazeldine has more than 20 years of experience across capital markets and strategic communications. He was the co-founder of advisory firm Cannings Purple. He is the Non-Executive Chair of Global Lithium Exploration Ltd (ASX:GL1) and a Director of Surfing WA.
Stephen Strubel - Executive Director
Stephen Strubel has over 20 years of experience in finance, mining exploration and corporate governance. He served senior role with Patersons Securities and Company Secretary for ASX-listed companies. He was the Executive Director and Company Secretary for Auric Mining Limited (ASX:AWJ) and is a Non-Executive Director of Star Minerals Ltd (ASX:SMS).
Peter Lee – Chief Operating Officer
Mr Lee is a Chemical Engineer, who has more than 20 years’ experience working in a number of large mining companies, across Australia and Canada. Having commenced his career with Mount Isa Mines (MIM), then Rio Tinto (Queensland Alumina Ltd and Gove Alumina) , his last role was Executive Process-Mechanical, with WSP Golder. In this role, Mr Lee led multi-disciplinary teams in domestic and international Mining, Metals and Chemical Industry related Process Design, Evaluation and Optimisation studies.
Mr Lee received Honours in a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (UNSW) and has completed a Master of Business Administration (CQU). Along with the technical experience and qualifications, Mr Lee also brings strong leadership and management skills with significant knowledge and networks within the mining industry.
Dr Nicholas Welham - Technical Consultant
Dr Nicholas Welham has more than 30 years of experience in minerals processing. He was an Adjunct Professor of Lithium Processing at the WA School of Mines and Principal of boutique hydrometallurgical consultancy Welham Consulting. He has 50 patents granted and holds PhD in Minerals Engineering from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College London. Responsible for developing ChemX’ innovative process to produce HPA.
Mike Ware - Project Manager
Mike Ware has more than 40 years of experience across a range of commodities and geological settings. He earned his B.Sc. (Geology) degree from UNSW and was a specialist in refractories and high-tech ceramic materials.
Tamara Barr - Company Secretary
Tamara Barr has 16 years of experience as a Company Secretary and corporate governance adviser to ASX-listed and private companies and NFPs across a variety of sectors in Australia and Europe.