IRON and STEEL
Australian graphite developer Kibaran Resources has confirmed the effectiveness and environmental friendliness of its EcoGraf proprietary purification process through testwork results for the development of a battery anode material manufacturing facility at Kwinana, south of Perth.
Testwork results demonstrated that battery-grade graphite can be produced without any adverse emissions for gaseous, aqueous or solid residue.
An engineering study released in June supports the case for the building of an initial 5,000 t/yr battery graphite facility, which could be expanded to 20,000 t/yr. The estimated development cost of the first stage is $22.8mn followed by $49.2mn for the expansion.
Other pre-development technical activities that are under way include technical documentation for government approvals, permitting and lease arrangements, as well as final feedstock benchmarking to determine the preferred feedstocks and finalise binding purchase agreements.
The company remains on schedule to make a final investment decision on the plant in the first half of 2020.
"Our proposed EcoGraf development is timely given the massive investment in Europe to support the transition towards electric vehicles, which will require alternative and responsibly produced raw materials," managing director Andrew Spinks said.
Kibaran is developing the Epanko graphite project in Tanzania but expects to procure and process graphite from a range of suppliers at its Kwinana plant and then export to Asia, North America and Europe.