International Graphite’s graphite pilot plant processing facility in Collie, Western Australia, has been officially opened by Premier Mark McGown and Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan.

The facility, which is one of the new industries spearheading economic growth and transition in the State’s South West region, has successfully produced micronised and spheroidised graphite – a key step in proving the state’s ability to become a producer of battery anode materials (BAM).

It also comes after International Graphite (ASX:IG6) placed an order for a micronising qualification scale plant, which will allow the company to micronise graphite – the first step in the production of purified and coated spheroid graphite for BAM production.

“This new facility is proof that International Graphite is well on its way to establishing commercial downstream graphite processing facilities in Collie,” executive chairman Phil Hearse said.

“By the first half of 2024 we expect to be completing construction and commissioning of a commercial scale graphite processing plant here in Collie.

“By 2025, we expect to have developed a fully integrated battery anode project with feedstock coming from our planned graphite mine at Springdale, near Hopetoun, on WA’s south coast.”

Minister MacTiernan said the opening of the facility was a big win for Collie’s Transition Plan – an effort to attract new 21st century industries to the region.

“International Graphite selected Collie as a strategic location for the new processing and manufacturing plant, based on existing regional industries and infrastructure, a skilled local workforce, and an ability to access overseas markets,” she added.

“It is exciting to see new industries taking shape in Collie that are building the foundations for future jobs.”

Collie’s transition our of coal-fired power makes International Graphite’s pilot facility – along with its upcoming research laboratory and potential move to commercial-scale operations – a key plank in the state government’s plan to provide employment to impacted workers.

The company is also progressing development of its Springdale project south of Ravensthorpe, Western Australia, to provide graphite concentrate as feedstock for future battery anode production at Collie.

WA Premier Mark McGowan at the opening of International Graphite’s Collie Plant Pic: Supplied

Micronised graphite plant

Meanwhile, the micronising qualification scale plant, which will be installed at its pilot downstream processing facilities in Collie, will allow the company to produce between 100 tonnes per annum and 200tpa of graphite micronised products, depending on their size, when operated continuously.

This will allow the company to produce micronised products for customer acceptance testing whilst achieving the level of quality control necessary to secure customer sales agreements for these products, which ultimately support a commitment to expand to commercial scale facilities.

It will also provide the required technical competence in the first step of production of battery anode and potentially be an income stream from the sale of specialised micronised products, which can be used in a wide range of industrial applications, prior to the planned sale of BAM.

It is being sourced from a North American supplier with delivery to Collie scheduled for mid-2023 with installation and commissioning expected to take three months.

“This is another key milestone in our development to be an Australian graphite products manufacturer,” chairman Phil Hearse said.

“Prospective customers will be provided with graphite product from this plant for qualification.

“Development of an industrial graphite market will complement our plans to establish a vertically integrated battery anode material industry in Western Australia.”

Generation of large scale samples for qualification will allow the company to press ahead with its commercial plans which include installing commercial process equipment capable of a nominal production rate of 3,000tpa to be established in a new facility in Collie.

Commercial operations would initially treat third party graphite concentrates, with the goal of processing concentrates from Springdale once it is developed.




This article was developed in collaboration with International Graphite, 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.