Worldwide lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery demand is rapidly increasing, and with Europe the fastest growing region for Li-on battery manufacturing, it makes sense for Talga (ASX:TLG) to ramp up the tonnage potential of its Swedish natural graphite deposits.

This graphite will be raw material  for its Talnode range of battery anode products and Talphene range of graphene additives.

Global battery manufacturing capacity in 2030 is set to exceed 3.8 tera-watt hours (TWh) per annum, requiring >4,600,000 tonnes per annum of graphite anode.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecasts that by 2040 total global Li-ion battery anode demand will exceed 8,400,000 tonnes per annum with Europe alone requiring >750,000 tpa of new graphite anode supply by 2030.

“The building blocks of more sustainable transport and a cleaner environment include battery materials and components, such as Talga’s green graphite anodes,” managing director Mark Thompson said.

“Recent customer feedback leads us to more fully define the true extent of our high-grade graphite resources in Sweden and explore the increased scale potential for global battery markets.

“By establishing this significant vertically integrated natural graphite anode business in Europe, we can clean up existing supply chains and be a positive high-technology addition to the regional economy.”

Expanding the Vittangi exploration target

Considering the positive economics of the Vittangi Anode Project DFS are based solely on the 2.3 million tonne Nunasvaara South ore reserve – and only a fraction of the mapped graphite has been drill tested to date – the company wants to fully define the extent of its graphite deposits and better align future development with increased global battery anode demand.

So the JORC exploration target estimate for the Vittangi Graphite Project has been updated to 170-200 million tonnes at 20-30% graphite – up from 26-46 million tonnes at 20-30%.

The majority of this estimate is proximal along strike and down dip from Talga’s existing Vittangi JORC (2012) graphite resources of 19.5 million tonnes at 24.0% – which the company believes demonstrates significant potential for additional expansion of its anode source material inventory.

Drilling and exploration programs planned

An extensive program of diamond core drilling is set to commence at Vittangi on 29 July of 69 holes totalling ~8,000m – with assay results expected in the fourth quarter.

And a detailed airborne electromagnetic survey (‘SKYTEM’) is planned to commence at Vittangi before the end of July, to further define and integrate the graphite units and depth extensions for drilling.

The SKYTEM survey will also cover Talga’s Aitik East project where outcrops of copper-gold-silver-molybdenum and lithium minerals have been previously identified – and warrant further investigation.

Exploring the Jalkunen project

Further drilling is planned over the balance of the Vittangi Exploration Target in stages over the next 12-18 months.

Drilling to expand the current Jalkunen Graphite Project resource base is planned to commence in the northern winter January-March 2022, to be followed by a planned scoping study and subsequent exploitation licence application.