As International Preliminary Examining Authority, The Australian Patent Office has deemed Lithium Australia’s SiLeach technology – a process for extracting and recovering lithium values from lithium-bearing materials – both novel and inventive and says it meets the requirements for Industrial Applicability. In so doing, it has confirmed that the SiLeach process is patentable, paving the way for the grant of corresponding patents for the SiLeach process around the world.In February 2017, Lithium Australia submitted an international patent application for the process under the Patent Cooperation Treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation. A rigorous ‘preliminary’ examination of the patent claims conducted by the Australian Patent Office ensued, leading to confirmation in the International Preliminary Report on Patentability – which acts as a persuasive guide to national and regional patent offices– that the SiLeach process is indeed ‘Novel, Inventive, Industry Applicable and Patentable’.Lithium Australia’s international patent application for its SiLeach technology ensures pending patent protection in 148 countries.Lithium Australia Managing Director Adrian Griffin: “The grant of patents for SiLeach will bolster Lithium Australia’s desire to create greater sustainability in the lithium industry by capitalising on the abundance of lithium-bearing waste materials. It will also dovetail perfectly with our interest in VSPC cathode production technology, giving us the ability to process mine waste right through to the production of battery cathodes. Currently, no other company has the tools required to achieve this sustainability goal.Lithium Australia, a dedicated developer of disruptive lithium extraction technologies, owns 100% of the SiLeach process for the recovery of lithium from all silicates. Moreover, it has strategic alliances with, and investments in, a number of companies that potentially provide it with access to a diversified lithium mineral inventory. Lithium Australia aims to unite resources and the best available technology and in so doing establish a global lithium processing business.