New Zealand Invests in Game Changing Lithium Recovery Technology

Wahyu Dwi Anggoro - 22 February 2022 14:55 WIB
New Zealand Invests in Game Changing Lithium Recovery Technology
Lithium is a highly prized element. (Photo:
Wellington: New Zealand is set to invest in world-leading lithium recovery technology with potential to strengthen our geothermal energy and advanced manufacturing sectors, and contribute to a lower carbon future.

Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash has announced the new Regional Strategic Partnership Fund (RSPF) will invest in Geo40 Limited, to help scale-up its lithium recovery technology at Ohaaki near Taup?.
"This is a game-changing programme of work," said Nash in a press release on Tuesday.

"The investment is the first by the RSPF. It delivers on a manifesto commitment to keep supporting regional economic development once the Provincial Growth Fund closed to applications. Regional leaders help set the strategic priorities for RSPF investment, which is seed funding as a catalyst for other investment," he added.

Lithium is a highly prized element, in much demand for electric vehicle batteries and to help mitigate the impacts of climate change. 

EVs are expected to account for more than half of new car sales in the northern hemisphere by 2030.

Overseas, traditional ways of mining lithium leave a heavy carbon footprint. 

In contrast, the Geo40 programme involves new technology to sustainably recover lithium from geothermal brine, and return the water to the geothermal field. 

The brine is a watery residue containing mineral compounds, and is a by-product of geothermal electricity generation.

"If we can successfully build up Geo40’s green technology to commercial scale, New Zealand could become an international leader in technology for the sustainable supply of lithium, and help to build lasting action on climate change," he explained.

"It could also help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target and create jobs to support the economic recovery. Expanding geothermal energy and advanced manufacturing opportunities in Taup? will be significant to diversify its local economy," he stated.


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