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ElectraLith launches with $2.25M investment from Rio Tinto and IP Group Australia

ElectraLith, a Monash University spin-off, has launched to commercialise breakthrough technology for efficient and sustainable lithium production, with the backing of Rio Tinto and leading university research commercialisation specialist IP Group Australia, alongside support from Monash Investment Holdings.

The parties are contributing in total $2.25 million in seed funding to develop the electro-filtration technology for lithium extraction and refining. This technology has the potential to reduce lithium production costs by up to 40 per cent, thereby making onshore processing more competitive.

Lithium is a critical mineral used in large-scale batteries for electric vehicles and storing renewable energy. It is expected that lithium supply will need to grow up to 800 per cent or approximately one million tonnes per annum by 2050 to meet green energy demand.

ElectraLith’s electrically-driven filtration process has the potential to enable high purity lithium production with unmatched speed and yield. The technology is also expected to have the lowest energy requirement and environmental impact of all approaches to lithium refining and is compatible with renewable electricity.

As a result ElectraLith could significantly shift the economics of lithium production from brine, ore and recycling sources, reducing costs substantially while dramatically lowering its environmental footprint.

As well as helping accelerate global decarbonisation, the breakthrough technology could make onshore lithium processing competitive by securing Australia's position in the growing battery industry and showcasing its advanced manufacturing capabilities.

The seed investment will support ongoing technology development by a team of Monash University researchers, led by ElectraLith’s founder and 2021 Eureka Prize finalist Professor Huanting Wang, as the company prepares for expansion of commercial activities.

Professor Wang said: "We are excited to see our ground-breaking research being developed through ElectraLith. It is important for us to see real world applications of our research and this is only possible by working with quality partners such as IP Group and Rio Tinto.”

Michael Molinari, IP Group Australia Managing Director, said: “Lithium is a critical enabler of the clean energy transition and a multi-billion dollar opportunity for Australia.

“ElectraLith represents a remarkable opportunity to reshape the industry by simplifying the lithium production process in a low impact way.

“We are delighted to be working with Professor Wang and the team at Monash University to bring this breakthrough technology to market. This will have an impact both economically and environmentally on our path to net zero.

“ElectraLith is yet another great example of the incredible opportunities that can be achieved by the research being done at Australian universities.”

Dr Alastair Hick, Senior Director at Monash Innovation, said ElectraLith is the latest in a growing portfolio of spin-off companies that are the result of an innovation ecosystem around Monash University.

“Monash has an international reputation for research excellence and innovation. As a part of the Monash Technology Precinct and with the support of Monash Investment Holdings, this research is being translated into commercial spin out opportunities that attract investors and partners such as IP Group and Rio Tinto,” Dr Hick said.

“There’s an enormous breadth and depth of commercialisation opportunities at Monash University and we’re excited to have ElectraLith on our growing list of spin-offs.”

Marnie Finlayson, Managing Director of Rio Tinto’s Battery Materials business, said: “Partnerships are at the heart of our Battery Materials business and we are delighted to partner with ElectraLith, supporting its cutting-edge technology for lithium production.”

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Media contact:

Aileen Bodart, Cannings Strategic Communications, +61 432 160 136

About IP Group

IP Group develops world-changing science and technology businesses across life sciences, technology and cleantech. The Group has a strong track record of success, having been the founder investor in a number of high-profile companies including Oxford Nanopore Technologies plc. In Australia and New Zealand, IP Group works in close partnership with the Go8 Universities and the University of Auckland to identify ground-breaking technologies rooted in hard science, which have the most promising commercial potential. IP Group is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the code IPO. For more information, please visit our website at

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a mining and metals company operating in 35 countries around the world that produces the materials essential to human progress. It aims to help pioneer a more sustainable future, from partnering in the development of technology that can make the aluminum smelting process entirely free of direct GHG emissions, to providing the world with the materials it needs – such as copper and titanium – to build a new low-carbon economy and products like electric vehicles and smartphones.

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