Kibaran turns by-product of battery-grade graphite production into extra cash
Mining & Resources
Graphite player Kibaran has transformed a low value by-product into an extra revenue source at its German battery-grade graphite pilot plant.
Kibaran’s (ASX:KNL) proprietary graphite purification process achieved a 99.97 per cent rating — a significant achievement, as the processes to produce battery (spherical) graphite for lithium-ion batteries typically yields 50 per cent, the company said.
The high purity by-product means the company can pursue higher value markets and increased product revenue.
Kibaran expects optimisation test work program at its German pilot plant to be completed in late October.
Kibaran’s strategy to establish stand-alone battery graphite business for the German lithium-ion battery market also got a huge boost this week.
The German government has confirmed plans to develop its own lithium-ion gigafactories to reduce dependence on Asian suppliers.
“At present European EV manufacturers source battery cells from Asia, and the German Government is increasingly focussed on the over-reliance upon Asian suppliers, so is moving to provide both a national and European solution to meet its future demand for batteries,” Kibaran said.
Earlier this month the graphite explorer had its mining licence renewed for another 10 years for a graphite project called “Epanko” in the African nation of Tanzania.
Kibaran’s Epanko project, which has a net present value of US$211 million, has supply agreements already in place with European and Japanese customers.
The project also has debt financing support from German and Australian lenders for its estimated $US89 million pre-production capital cost.
Kibaran is in talks to finalise the remaining requirements of the lenders so the financing and subsequent construction of the Epanko project can go ahead as soon as possible.