Talga eyes battery anode production expansion to meet demand
Special Report: Talga’s lithium-ion battery anode products are in demand with expressions of interest exceeding 300 percent of the planned annual capacity outlined in a May 2019 pre-feasibility study.
Its Talnode products are now in 36 active commercial engagements that cover most planned European lithium-ion battery manufacturers and six major global car manufacturers.
Talga Resources’ (ASX:TLG) says that as a result of the interest, it is now expanding the scope of the Niska scoping study to evaluate larger anode production options for the Vittangi project in Sweden.
The expansion will be in addition to the current Nunasvaara South pre-feasibility study full-scale production plan of 19,000 tonnes per annum (tpa).
“Our engagement with European battery companies and automotive OEMs has grown rapidly, with customers attracted by the potential of locally produced anode at competitive costs and with world-leading sustainability,” managing director Mark Thompson said.
“As we progress Talnode-C through commercial qualification stages with customers it is pleasing to note that interest now greatly exceeds our original planned production, and that the need to review expansion options has arisen this early.”
Currently, the company plans to extract up to 100,000tpa of graphite ore from Nunasvaara South and process the ore into concentrate on-site.
This concentrate will then be refined into Talnode-C, Talga’s flagship lithium-ion battery anode product.
Vittangi has also been demarcated as a “mineral deposit of national interest” by the Swedish Geological Survey, which means that municipalities and central government agencies can’t authorise activities “that might prevent or significantly hinder exploitation of the mineral deposit”.
Talga noted that worldwide lithium-ion battery demand continues to increase rapidly with global manufacturing capacity set to exceed 2.5 terawatt hours per annum by 2029.
This will require more than 2.5mtpa of graphite anode, up from about 450,000tpa of anode production today.
Talga said that while the COVID-19 pandemic had severely impacted electric vehicle (EV) sales in the short term, Bloomberg New Energy Finance data showed EV sales held up better than internal combustion engine vehicles.
The company added that in the wake of COVID-19, securing local supplies of anode rather than importing from Asia was becoming an increasingly significant factor influencing customers’ purchasing decisions.