Jindalee successfully makes battery-compatible lithium phosphate from US McDermitt project

Fri 14 Oct 22, 12:29pm (AEST)
Ford charging EV
Source: Unsplash

Key Points

  • Jindalee has made lithium phosphate at a Perth laboratory using its ore from the US McDermitt project
  • Key material in Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries, which Tesla and Ford are both pivoting towards using in EVs
  • Early testwork does not guarantee any future direction for the company’s product manufacturing, more testwork underway

Jindalee Resources’ (ASX:JRL) shares are up 2% heading into the third hour of trade as the company notes its successful manufacture of lithium phosphate in metallurgical testwork conducted on ore from its McDermitt project in the US. 

Initial testwork has produced lithium phosphate at 5.89% lithium with 89.5% of the lithium used in the conventional leach extraction (read: rocks crushed and dunked into solvent) coming from recycled lithium-bearing materials. 

The ore in question which was used in the tests contained a relatively minor 0.14% lithium. 

What is lithium phosphate? 

Lithium Phosphate, Jindalee notes, “has been shown to be a potential precursor chemical for production of Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries.” 

(The F comes from ferro, indicating the iron.)

LFP batteries are themselves variations of standard lithium-ion batteries (not to be confused with Lithium Iron), but, one big advantage is that LFP batteries do not require cobalt. 

Research has shown LFP batteries' market share rose to 24.15% in the first half of 2021, a move driven in no small part by Tesla's decision to begin shifting to LFP batteries. 

Ford, too, is beginning to shift to LFP batteries, Jindalee highlights. In 2026, the auto giant expects to be manufacturing LFP batteries collectively able to produce 40 gigawatt hours of power (enough to power a small town.) 

Renewable energy association Ethos Power notes LFP batteries have a lower risk of spontaneous combustion, contain fewer toxic compounds, and can also operate without losing performance in temperatures up to 65C. 

Wood Mackenzie also expect LFP batteries to overtake Lithium Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) batteries before 2030.

Put all those things together, and it’s easy to see why shareholders and investors are interested in Jindalee’s news.

No guarantees yet 

While the above is promising for Jindalee’s future at McDermitt and in the lithium sector broady, there are no guarantees at this time Jindalee will be able to replicate these results with all ore samples collected. 

“While Jindalee has not committed to a particular processing route, the company is delighted with the results from the initial testwork,” the company noted. 

“Testwork to develop the most effective and energy efficient flow sheet for McDermitt is continuing with further results to be announced.” 

Jindalee conducted the testwork with Lithium Consultants Australasia using a laboratory in Perth. Worth noting is the company was able to produce the lithium phosphate without using large amounts of sulphuric acid. 

The state of Jindalee's three month charts
The state of Jindalee's three month charts


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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