Novalith Technologies Secures AUS$23 Million to Revolutionise Lithium Production

Sydney-based climate technology company Novalith Technologies, creator of a novel lithium extraction process that will unlock vast resources and deliver them without the environmental toll of traditional approaches, has raised AUS$23 million in Series A funding.

Led by Lowercarbon Capital, the round includes participation from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), the Grantham Environmental Trusts’ Neglected Climate Opportunities Fund, TDK Ventures and Investible.

The auto industry is in the midst of a once-in-a-century shift, replacing the internal combustion engine with electric alternatives that rely on the same core piece of technology: lithium-ion batteries.

To fuel this revolution, the world needs to produce up to 2.7 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent by 2030, a 4-fold increase since last year.

Until recently, most of the energy-dense metal that the industry uses today came from brine resources: naturally occurring salt lakes concentrated in the “Lithium Triangle” countries of Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. These projects require large evaporation ponds that are harmful to the environment, hard to get approved, and yield low product purities.

Those challenges have spurred industry interest in hard rock resources, which are plentiful and currently provide 60% of the world’s lithium but, based on current methods, are difficult, expensive, environmentally harmful and can’t be brought online fast enough to meet demand.

Novalith Technologies have pioneered a novel process that remakes hard-rock lithium extraction and refining into a dramatically cheaper, greener and more scalable process.

Instead of the traditional method that relies on significant amounts of sulfuric acid to extract lithium, a process that leaves behind a plethora of harmful by-products and waste, Novalith uses carbonated water to extract the lithium directly as battery grade lithium carbonate and leaves a by-product of inert, CO2-infused rock.

Novalith’s technology cuts process costs, plant costs, and plant footprints by up to 65%, 50%, and 25%, respectively compared to the conventional process. It uses 90% less water than current approaches and promises to supercharge the energy transition by opening mineral resources in new geographies. When paired with renewable energy sources, the technology opens a path to carbon-negative lithium production.

“It’s a massive opportunity to be able to disrupt and meaningfully contribute to something as important as electrification and decarbonisation. We are very grateful to have the support of a strong group of mission-aligned investors who understand the urgency and significance of what we’re aiming to achieve,” said Steven Vassiloudis, founder and CEO of Novalith.

“Our technology has the potential to significantly decarbonise the lithium supply chain as well as unlock new lithium ore reserves and opportunities, providing low-cost and environmentally sustainable lithium to a world that is rapidly racing towards an electric future.”

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