Lithium Australia on track to acquire lithium battery developer

Lithium Australia (LIT) is set to acquire Brisbane based battery cathode developer Very Small Particle company (VSPC) as it expands in the lithium battery market.

VSPC supplies high quality cathode material – including Li-ion phosphate cathode material used in hybrid electric vehicles, power tools and domestic storage batteries.

LIT’s proposed acquisition includes a decommissioned plant in Brisbane designed to produce complex metal oxides/phosphates for cathode production.

The plant incorporates an advanced Li-ion battery-laboratory and testing facility, which can establish the quality, performance and reliability of cells produced using the VSPC technology. The laboratory also includes cathode coating equipment and cell production capacity.

The proposed VSPC acquisition would provide LIT with ‘full-circle’ capability to deliver source material into the global Li-ion battery supply chain. It takes into consideration LIT’s lithium greenfields and brownfields exploration projects in Australia and Germany; its processing capabilities using its Sileach technology; and its aim to recycle discarded Li-ion batteries to extract energy metals such as lithium and cobalt.

“LIT’s business strategy, which incorporates the development of disruptive extraction technology, has expanded from the processing of natural resources to include the recycling of battery materials,” Lithium Australia’s managing director Adrian Griffin said.

“The company anticipates immense pressure on the supply of so-called ‘energy metals’ such as lithium and cobalt in the near future, and battery recycling not only supports sustainability but may prove the cheapest source of those materials in years to come.”

Griffin added that recycling “closes the loop to create a circular energy economy” and the “missing link” is reintroducing recovered metals into the global lithium supply chain.

“The cathode technology developed by VSPC provides that ‘missing link’, and the proposed acquisition would provide LIT with the opportunity to participate in the entire lifecycle of energy metals, thereby positioning the company as a leader in the field of not just portable but also sustainable power.

“The envisaged transaction would allow LIT to participate in the efficient production and total utilisation of Li-ion batteries, with the best technologies integrated to achieve that outcome.

The proposed acquisition is subject due diligence, as well as shareholder and regulatory approvals.