- Neometals is offering a way to shake up the lithium industry with a mineral known as zeolite
- Zeolite is said to augment the process of harnessing lithium extracts from spodumene, causing for reduced costs and added by-product revenue
- Neometals struck success last week, when its patent-pending method of manufacturing zeolite hit industry standard quality in a collaborative trial with the Queensland University of Technology
- Quality methods for harnessing zeolite means Australian lithium suppliers could cut costs from ongoing outsourced extract manufacturers
- Neometals have cited the zeolite industry to boom in 2022, reaching a worth of $16.28 billion
Neometals, has achieved an industry standard quality in the processing of its zeolite products, which can shake up the way we harvest lithium.
The success was carried out through an extensive trial study in collaboration with The Queensland University of Technology.
The test work showed results that Neometals’ quality of zeolite products were comparable to an unspecified industry leading manufacture.
The trial utilised Neometals’ patent pending technology, which is able to produce zeolite. Zeolite is manufactured from lithium residue, which presents an augmentation to the processing of lithium sources.
What zeolite brings to the lithium industry is an ability to eliminate waste disposal and reduce further associated costs from lithium production. Harnessed zeolite can also produce co-product revenue, giving bang for its buck.
Zeolite is left after a process of extracting the lithium from spodumene. The harnessed zeolite is able to boost efficiency in lithium pilot plants as well, pending a demonstration from Neometals.
This means that Aussie companies can extract lithium from their own sources for reduced costs and higher efficiency, instead of outsourcing.
Neometals states that the zeolite market is to reach a worth of $16.28 billion in 2022. If zeolite is harnessed efficiently, it can create a stronger network of support for lithium-based renewable energy products and projects, including electric cars.
“The unequivocal demonstration of the ability to convert lithium refinery leach residue waste into high-value zeolite products further demonstrates the company’s ability to identify and develop an opportunity to improve the economics an environmental sustainability of our downstream lithium chemical strategy,” said Neometals Managing Director Chris Reed.
The company has now made plans with a global engineering company, Exyte, to carry out an engineering cost study based on the latest breakthrough. Neometals are also moving towards a demonstration of its technology at pilot plant scale.
The Queensland University of Technology has begun collecting required materials and equipment for the pilot plant test, scheduled for this September quarter.
“We look forward to announcing the expected capital and operating costs when they become available,” concluded Chris.
Neometals have seen a slightly positive response in the market today with a 2.44 increase to its share prices. Shares in NMT are sitting at 21 cents in a $111.5 million market cap.