Project’s pathway to impact. Building up the competitive production of Li from European resources

LiCORNE will allow European Li to be mined, processed, and refined in the EU at a competitive cost and environmentally friendly way, and in the vicinity of gigafactories, securing therefore materials supply and reducing significantly the cost of transport and associated GHG emissions. Moreover, the impact of the project will benefit not only Europe, but the entire world. Due to the expected knowledge generated, project partners have the potential to become global leaders in processing and refining low-grade deposits from different sources and licence their technologies and foregrounds to other companies in Europe and overseas.

The LiCORNE project will research, develop and upscale (to TRL5) innovative, sustainable and cost-efficient technologies for producing battery-grade Li-chemicals from ores (pegmatites, clays), brines (continental, geothermal), tailings and off-specifications cathode material (with the recycling of Co and Ni from the latter feedstock). Such technologies are grouped in 5 stages: beneficiation, physico-chemical transformation, extraction, separation & purification and recovery.

Expected mid-term outcomes

Reduced GHG emissions, increased energy efficiency, and more efficient resource use and yield
Process development and validation on a wide range of feedstock to demonstrate the robustness and flexibility of innovative technologies, that are equally safe and cost-effective
Establishment of a unique platform built on combined knowledge and resources to produce battery-grade materials (LiOH, Li2CO3 or Li-metal) from European sources
New business opportunities and models for the European industry, creating additional jobs from increased processing and refining capacity


Expected long-term outcomes

Increased competitiveness of the European battery ecosystem through generated knowledge and leading-edge techs.

Accelerated growth of innovative, competitive and sustainable battery manufacturing industry in Europe

Increased overall sustainability and improved LCA of each segment of the battery value chain

Development and establishment of innovative recycling network and technologies in line with the European Circular Economy Action Plan (March 2020)