Sovereign Metals has commenced a graphite bulk sample program for qualification, downstream testwork and product development for its Kasiya project in Malawi.

Initial characterisation testwork on Kasiya’s graphite has already indicated excellent suitability for use in lithium-ion batteries.

An initial four tonnes of flake graphite pre-concentrate (light mineral concentrate) with a target grade of 3-5% graphite (up from ~1.5% in the raw ore) have been produced ready for despatch to world leading laboratory SGS Lakefield.

This initial representative graphite product will provide samples for:

  • Downstream testwork focussed on Coated Spherical Purified Graphite (CSPG) anode material via purification, spheronisation, coating and battery cell cycling tests;
  • Assessment and qualification for traditional industrial graphite markets, including the refractory, foundry, and expandable graphite segments; and
  • Future production of CSPG to be provided to anode/battery manufacturers for assessment and qualification.

A significant laboratory upgrade is underway to enable continuous production of bulk samples going forward.

Without graphite there’s no electric vehicle revolution

“Kasiya will potentially be one of the lowest cost flake graphite projects in the world and is also estimated to have one of the lowest global warming potentials of any current and future graphite projects,” Sovereign Metals (ASX:SVM) MD Dr Julian Stephens said.

“Sovereign wants to be at the forefront of these critical mineral supply chains and today’s announcement is another important step towards achieving that.

“The world’s economies need surety of supply for high-quality, low-carbon-footprint graphite suitable for use in lithium-ion batteries.

“Without graphite there is no electric vehicle revolution.

“The US, Japan and the EU see it as a critical mineral and have allocated many billions of dollars towards securing graphite supply.”

Marketing natural flake graphite and rutile

The bulk sample program is part of Sovereign’s graphite marketing strategy to establish Kasiya as a major supplier of two critical minerals – natural flake graphite and natural rutile.

A major component to graphite sales agreements is customer qualification, with the graphite produced from this program be shared with prospective end-users.

Sovereign has already secured rutile offtake MOUs with major blue chip partners including Japan’s Mitsui and US-listed Chemours, and plans to actively market Kasiya’s graphite to end users including the lithium-ion battery anode market – which has now become the largest end-market for natural flake graphite.

Demand for high quality flake graphite continues to grow due to global decarbonisation requirements, and the demand for anodes grew by 46% in 2022 compared to only 14% growth in natural flake graphite supply.

Sovereign’s next objective is to secure offtake MOUs for the Kasiya flake graphite co-product.



This article was developed in collaboration with Sovereign Metals, 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.