• Sovereign Metals produces spherical purified graphite (SPG) with world-leading specifications for lithium-ion batteries
  • The SPG product exhibits exceptional purity (99.99%), positioning it ideally for battery anode materials
  • This achievement marks a significant step towards disrupting the graphite supply chain, offering a long-term, secure source of high-quality graphite outside of China


Special Report: Sovereign Metals has successfully produced spherical purified graphite with world-leading specifications that are suitable for use in lithium-ion batteries using graphite concentrate sourced from its Kasiya project in Malawi.

Previous test work carried out at four independent labs in Canada, Australia and South Africa successfully produced high-grade graphite concentrate from Kasiya ore averaging over 97% total graphitic carbon (TGC) with flotation recoveries exceeding 90%.

Flotation results demonstrated that 1.44% TGC run-of-mine ore from Sovereign Metals’ (ASX:SVM) project upgrades to more than 55% TGC rougher concentrate without crushing or milling – process steps typically required for producing graphite concentrates from hard-rock deposits.

The work also found that exceptionally low levels of sulphur were present in the graphite concentrates, making them ideally suited for use in battery anode materials.

Kasiya has a giant 1.8 billion tonne resource grading 1.4% graphite and 1% rutile.

pre-feasibility study last September pegged output from Kasiya at a run rate of 222,000tpa rutile and 244,000tpa natural graphite across a 25-year mine life – which would make it one of the biggest producers in the world.

Major miner Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) has seen fit to acquire a 15% stake in the company, demonstrating the quality of this asset.

Sovereign Metals (ASX:SVM)
World-leading SPG from testing. Pic: Sovereign Metals


High-quality graphite

SVM has now demonstrated that this confidence is not misplaced with demonstration test work successfully producing a 99.99% purity spherical purified graphite (SPG) product with exceptionally low levels of residual impurities.

The SPG material has demonstrated all required parameters within industry standards while the spheronisation yields of up to 68% provide further scope for improvement through optimisation in future test work.

Adding interest, the test work found that a single purification stage is sufficient for Kasiya graphite concentrate, which has the potential to lower processing costs.

This ticks off a major step in the company’s graphite strategy to qualify and commercialise graphite concentrate for use in the lithium-ion battery sector.

“These results clearly demonstrate that Kasiya has the potential to disrupt the China dominated graphite supply chain as a long term, secure source of high-quality graphite ex-China,” managing director Frank Eagar said.

“We believe Kasiya graphite will have industry low operating costs and is also one of the largest graphite resources globally holding a significant advantage over its graphite peers.

“We are very pleased to achieve these outstanding results at this stage of the program and will continue fast tracking our graphite product development and qualification campaign.”


Next steps

SVM will now carry out coating and electrochemical tests on the SPG samples to provide baseline data for offtake discussions.

The results of these tests are expected in the coming weeks.



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.