WA to get world’s first spherical graphite plant outside China
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Western Australia’s push to develop its battery minerals industry has received a boost from EcoGraf (ASX:EGR), which is looking to construct a processing facility that will produce battery-grade spherical graphite.
The company has executed an agreement with the Western Australian Land Authority over a 6.7ha site in the Kwinana-Rockingham Industrial Area where it is looking to develop a $US72m facility that will be the first of its kind outside of China.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan says the allocation of prime industrial land to EcoGraf supports the state’s Future Battery Industry Strategy, which aims to grow the sector and transform it into a significant source of economic development, diversification, jobs and skills.
“Importantly, this proposed multi-million-dollar investment comes just two months after the opening of Alloy Road unlocked new strategic industrial land,” he added.
The Future Battery Industry Strategy was launched early last year to help Western Australia become a major player in the global battery value chain.
Battery minerals contributed $6bn in export revenue to the state in the 2018-19 financial year.
In August, the state unveiled a $13.2m incentives program to attract lithium-ion battery cathode manufacturers to the state.
Stage 1 of EcoGraf’s proposed facility will be capable of producing 5,000 tonnes of spherical graphite per annum using the company’s proprietary processing technology that it says provides an environmentally friendly, cost competitive alternative to existing battery graphite produced using toxic hydrofluoric acid.
This will increase to 20,000tpa with the completion of Stage 2.
EcoGraf says the decision to locate the facility in WA was based on strong European customer support seeking responsibly produced, diversified battery graphite supply.