Syrah Resources Limited (ASX: SYR) is confident it is on target to become the first ex-China vertically integrated producer of Active Anode Material (AAM) from natural graphite during a successful pilot testing programme in the USA.
The company has successfully produced anode precursor material (purified spherical graphite) to battery specification from the company’s Battery Anode Material (BAM) facility in Vidalia, Louisiana.
China currently produces 100% of the natural graphite anode precursor material used for production of lithium-ion batteries in Electric Vehicles (EV), as well as other applications.
Syrah believes the Vidalia operation is the farthest progressed alternate source of natural graphite anode precursor material ex-China.
The anode precursor material produced at Vidalia will now be dispatched to potential customers and supply chain partners for testing and qualification.
It will also be further processed to AAM via toll treatment and from a furnace to be installed at Vidalia over the coming quarters, which will further facilitate ongoing strategic, financial partnership, and end-customer interactions.
The company is confident that benchmarking of the physical and electrochemical properties of material produced at pilot scale demonstrates that planned products from the facility in Vidalia will deliver equivalent or superior performance to material supplied by major incumbent industry participants.
Th plant at Vidalia is capable of 5kt per annum milling and commercial qualification scale of 200t per annum purification. An in-progress Bankable Feasibility Study (“BFS”) is assessing the economics of expanding the capacity of the existing facility to 10kt per annum of AAM production capability initially, and then scale up to 40kt per annum.
According to Syrah, accelerated by the impacts of COVID 19, localised supply chains are increasingly recognised as offering competitive advantage and security, and the strategic nature of critical battery minerals is growing in importance with both governments and supply chain participants.