Diversified mining major Anglo American said while increasing demand for platinum and palladium was of strategic importance to the Lion partners, their backing of Florida International University research could help unlock the potential of lithium air and lithium sulphur battery chemistries to increase their discharge capacities and cyclability.
Under its agreement with the university, Lion will have exclusive rights to intellectual property developed and will lead commercialisation efforts.
Anglo and PGM said higher energy density, lithium oxygen and lithium sulphur batteries could outperform "by orders of magnitude" best-in-class lithium-ion batteries currently on the market or under development.
A new generation of "lightweight, powerful batteries has the potential to grow to scale on the back of the attractiveness of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and the use of lithium batteries in other applications beyond mobility", Anglo and PGM said in a statement.
Anglo executive head of market development Benny Oeyen said: "This exciting early-stage technology aligns with our broader strategy to bring new technologies to market that will help us secure future demand for the platinum group metals we mine and pave the way to a more sustainable energy future. Our commitment to market development is underscored by our relationship with AP Ventures, of which we are a cornerstone investor and who is a potential investor in this technology as it matures."