Geo40 working to combat environmental impact of Lithium mining for EV batteries
Geo40 has successfully recovered lithium from groundwaters sourced from Europe, South America and New Zealand at laboratory scale.
Geo40 CEO and Managing Director John Worth said, “We’ve been working hard on our lithium technology for the last two years and we are now at the point where we are ready to showcase what we can do. European automakers are actively searching for sustainable sources of lithium for EV batteries, so the G7 is a great opportunity to profile what we are working on. We’re really pleased that Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit is supporting us,” said Worth.
Geo40 has also commercialised technology for the recovery of nano-silica from geothermal fluids and commissioned a c$20m large-scale plant near Taupo in February this year, built in partnership with Kānoa – REDIU, the New Zealand Government’s regional economic development and investment unit, and alongside Contact Energy and the Ngati Tahu Tribal Lands Trust.
Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit Robert Pigou says that “Geo40 is developing breakthrough technology that can play a pivotal role in the decarbonisation of industry and transport, is genuinely sustainable and is creating high-value regional jobs, particularly for Maori – and as such our objectives are well-aligned. We’re delighted to play a role in supporting their journey.” Kānoa – REDIU currently holds a $5m equity stake in the Company alongside the provision of a debt facility.
The company’s early work on lithium attracted the attention of Bill Gates’ climate-change fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, who indirectly invested in Geo40 via Swedish affiliate Baseload Capital.
Geo40 is also working closely with Puna Group of Argentina, who hold 140,000 hectares of land with subsurface lithium-rich brines. Geo40 hopes to undertake lithium recovery work in Argentina at pilot scale in the medium term. Geo40’s technology is attracting international attention as
it may offer a viable and sustainable alternative to current industrial processes. “It’s very exciting, but we know that success will only come from putting our heads down and diligently continuing to fully develop the process and then through working alongside the best lithium explorers in the business,” said Worth.