Rare metals

  • World-class technologies for efficient lithium extraction from various hydromineral sources

Lithium is critically needed to create modern industrial products, including the defense industry, aircraft manufacturing and other areas of civil industry. 

Our company, together with the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, has developed a fundamentally new approach that allows the extraction of lithium and other chemical elements, such as boron, bromine, iodine, magnesium. It consists in creating a complex technological process in which, in parallel with the main process of extracting lithium from natural brine, a smaller, additional process of obtaining fresh sorbent or reagent from already used material is simultaneously carried out, periodically withdrawn from the main production process, regenerated and then reintroduced back. The pure sodium chloride brine obtained as a by–product of processing is considered as a ready-made raw material for the production of soda ash at the next stage – one of the most important chemical products for glass, chemical pulp and paper and other industries. In addition, other products extracted from brine are of considerable interest: construction gypsum, boromagnesium fertilizers, fresh drinking water. It should be noted that this technology is environmentally safe and does not have a harmful effect on the ecosystem.

The results of many years of scientific and technological developments, as well as the positive experience of joint research with the Institute of Geochemistry (GEOHI), are available in the assets of JSC “SPE “Radiy” The results of research on the extraction of lithium from seawater and natural brines have successfully solved the technological task of creating closed reagentless processes for obtaining aluminum hydroxide from available low-grade aluminum-containing raw materials.

An effective resource-saving method of lithium extraction has been created, combining three interrelated processes into a lithium complex: 

1) sorption or precipitation extraction of lithium carbonate from lithium-containing solutions;   

2) continuous reproduction of the necessary fresh sorbent or fresh aluminum hydroxide with a high absorption capacity; 

3) continuous production of aluminum hydroxide necessary for reproduction.

Laboratory and partially pilot tests have been successfully conducted, there are a number of Russian and foreign patents, the scientific and technical foundations of the new technology have been formulated. 

The new technology can become the basis for solving the problem of import substitution in the production of lithium carbonate, which is critically necessary to meet the needs of Russian battery manufacturers. 

The implementation of innovative technology will make it possible to obtain a world-class competitive technology for the efficient extraction of lithium from hydromineral sources, solve the problem of import substitution in terms of the production of lithium carbonate of battery quality and ensure the creation of a reliable resource base for domestic manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries.

  • Research and development of effective methods of enrichment of current and stale tailings of deposits of non-ferrous, precious and rare metals, as well as technologies for their separation

The analysis of the current state of this sphere and the development of new technologies is carried out.