International Graphite’s (ASX:IG6) focus is an integrated mine and downstream graphite business in WA, with the ultimate goal to produce battery anode material for battery makers.

IG6 has today taken a big stride toward that goal with the installation of pilot scale graphite micronising and spheroidising equipment – key steps in the production of battery anode material – at Collie in WA.

This pilot plant, which is the smaller version of the real thing, will demonstrate the company’s ability to produce a high quality spheroidised graphite product suitable for battery anode material (BAM), using initially imported graphite concentrate.

Product samples to be produced will be used for market and industry engagement, with advisors already appointed in Germany and USA.

Product qualification by end users is crucial for successful and sustainable sales of advanced graphite products, IG6 says.

“This requirement is critical as customers qualify and evaluate graphite products from specific sources,” it says.

“Qualifications used in product formulations must be reliable, consistent, and under strict quality control guidelines, to ensure traceability and adequate sample retention.”

Moving toward cashflow

The company also intends to apply the knowledge gained from the pilot facilities to consider a commercial scale micronising facility that could treat third party concentrates, to generate cashflow.

It could be subsequently expanded and integrated with graphite spheroidising, purification and potentially coating facilities to treat concentrates from the Company’s 100% owned Springdale Graphite Project when in operation and produce battery anode materials.

Micronising is a necessary step in the production of BAM in lithium-ion batteries.

Purified micronised graphite can be sold as a conductive additive to battery cathodes, or other industrial applications, or as an intermediate product used in the production of purified spheroidised graphite (PSG).

“Establishment of this micronising and spheroidising pilot facility at Collie is our first step towards realising our vision of creating a vertically integrated from mine to final battery anode material production facility in Western Australia,” Executive Chairman Phil Hearse says.

“That this first step has been accomplished only four months from our IPO is due to the extensive work the team at IG6 did in the years prior to and since our IPO, laying the foundations for our business plan.

“With governments focussed on establishing supply chains for critical minerals, such as battery grade graphite, required to support the transition to a carbon neutral economy globally, including the recent announcement by the WA government of approximately $660 million investment into the Collie region to support such endeavours, we feel positive about our strategy and look forward to delivering on more milestones moving forward.”

Springdale has ‘excellent metallurgical characteristics’

Test work undertaken by Comet Resources (ASX:CRL) on graphite concentrates produced from Springdale — prior to IG6’s acquisition of the project — indicated that it has the right metallurgical characteristics for the production of battery anode grade PSG.

It is the company’s aim to use graphite from Springdale as the feedstock for production of BAM once the project is advanced into production.

Springdale has an existing inferred resource of 15.6Mt @ 6% TGC, but there is more where that came from.

A 7,100m RC and PQ/HQ diamond drilling program, comprising 54 RC drillholes (3,300m) and 12 diamond holes (900m), is currently underway at the project.

The program includes infill drilling around the existing resource with the aim of reclassifying resources from the inferred category to the measured or indicated categories, provide additional samples for further metallurgical testwork, and data for initial geotechnical assessments and mine planning.

In addition, 37 RC holes (3,000m) are being drilled to test several high priority exploration targets with the aim of identifying additional mineral resources at the project.

 

 

 

This article was developed in collaboration with IG6, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.