Special Report: Detailed feasibility studies and work has not only delivered improved yield and recoveries, but Talga has found a simpler way to reach commercial anode production.

By combining the development of their integrated graphite anode facility in Sweden into a single commercial stage, Talga (ASX:TLG) has been able to offset COVID-19 impacts and reduce the steps to production.

The ‘fast track pathway’ simplifies project development and allows the company to progress straight to commercial anode production of 19,000 tonnes per annum, with construction set to start in 2022 followed by production in 2023.

Despite the modifications to the production plan, Talga says the overall economic and financial parameters for the combined stages remain materially unchanged from the pre-feasibility study (PFS).

The completed feasibility work on the start-up phase showed highly positive outcomes that will be refined further in the commercial detailed feasibility study (DFS) which is expected to be completed in Q1 2021.

The news sent shares up over 10 per cent Thursday morning to an intra-day peak of 58c. Shares have surged nearly 180 per cent since mid-March.

Talga (ASX:TLG) share price chart:


Higher yield, lower energy costs

The results included an improved yield of Talga’s Talnode-C product from graphite concentrate to 99 per cent, up from 88 per cent in the PFS released in May 2019.

The studies have also shown a ~10 per cent increase in total recovery of Talnode-C from graphite ore to 90 per cent, and energy savings of 30 per cent in graphite concentrate production.

Another positive outcome of the more detailed study has resulted in the successful piloting of a proprietary sustainable purification process producing battery-grade graphite concentrate without the use of industry standard hydrofluoric acid.

In addition to that Talga is able to produce Talphene graphene products for battery and polymer composite applications from the anode refinery stream.

“In spite of COVID-19 disruptions our commercial development remains firmly on track thanks to the ingenuity of the Talga team,” managing director Mark Thompson said.

“The great results of the recent feasibility work shows significant benefits to be gained in the short and long term and support the simplified amalgamated development plan.”


Customers knocking down the door

Talga has no shortage of buyer interest for its product, especially as end users increasingly look for ethical supply outside of China.

The company has been undertaking market and product qualification programs of its Talnode anode products with a number of lithium-ion battery and anode producers.

In June, Talga reported that it received expressions of interest exceeding 300 per cent of its planned annual capacity.

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.

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 2.5 million tonnes per annum of graphite anode, up from about 450,000 tonnes per annum of anode production today.

“With increasing demand for Li-ion battery anode sourced from secure and clean supply chains Talga is attracting attention as a potential major anode producer outside China,” Thompson said.

“The range of parties we are engaged with, from product sales to project development partnerships, are truly world-class and well-suited to our project execution strategy. We look forward to sharing more results of these partnerships over the coming months.”

As a result of the massive interest in Talga’s product, the company has expanded the scope of the Niska scoping study to evaluate larger anode production options for the Vittangi project in Sweden.

Vittangi graphite project showing parallel stages of permitting and development underway. Pic: Supplied

Talga is now working on finalising the DFS for the commercial scale operation, which is key to securing project finance.

This article was developed in collaboration with Talga, 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.