Lithium Energy’s teamed up with CSIRO for optimisation testwork for its Burke graphite project in Queensland.

The research agreement with CSIRO covers further testwork, including attempting spheronisation and purification of the natural graphite particles.

Essentially, the graphite is shaped into ‘potato-like’ structures with the objective of easier processing of Burke natural graphite flakes into electrode materials to reduce capacity losses and enhance cell efficiency.

The idea is to demonstrate to potential graphite purchasers the benefits of the natural flake graphite within the deposit.

The project will be 50% funded by the CSIRO Kick-Start Program and is expected to take four months to complete.

Lithium Energy (ASX:LEL) is confident the deposit presents an opportunity to cater to the growth in demand for graphite in lithium-ion batteries.

Encouraging electrical storage capacity

Burke has a JORC inferred mineral resource of 6.3 million tonnes at 16.0% Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC) for 1,000,000 tonnes of contained graphite – including a high-grade component of 2.3 million tonnes at 20.6% TGC.

Its high grade and low impurities make it particularly attractive for use in lithium-ion batteries.

In previous test work, Burke graphite cells had generally higher levels of capacity compared with control coin cells when repeatedly (50 times) charged and discharged over a 10-hour cycle time.

The company considered this electrical storage capacity highly encouraging and it was the driving force to undertake the further testwork required by battery manufacturers looking to acquire graphite for use in their battery manufacturing operations.

Lithium Energy
Pic: Total Graphite Content (TGC) comparison of ASX listed company graphite projects

Potential offtake partners

The company is planning to re-engage with Chinese and Japanese parties who have previously expressed a strong interest in the graphite from the Burke Project.

Lithium Energy said that companies in China are increasingly looking outside of the country for stable supplies of high-quality graphite concentrate – due to increasing environmental concerns as well as grades being typically lower in the country.

Once the latest round of testwork is complete, the company will pursue discussions with the aim of forming binding commercial off-take and development agreements.

 

 

 

This article was developed in collaboration with Lithium Energy Limited, 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.