International Graphite has installed pilot plant equipment for micronising and spheroidising its graphite concentrate at the company’s downstream processing centre in Collie about 200km from Perth in WA. Amongst a host of additional enterprises, the company is looking to use the facility to churn out battery anode material, or BAM – a key component in lithium-ion batteries.
In addition, the pilot plant will be used for the triple purpose of driving the development and design of a commercial line of micronised graphite, push the company’s stature in the graphite community and deliver operational expertise in product management and packaging.
Management has also earmarked the cutting-edge facility as a key catalyst in advancing its graphite beneficiation ambitions. According to International Graphite, a purification furnace — to help deliver this goal — sits amongst its armoury of new kit and will be installed after a review of its micronising equipment.
Establishment of this micronising and spheroidising pilot facility at Collie is our first step towards realising our vision of creating a vertically integrated from mine to final battery anode material production facility in Western Australia. That this first step has been accomplished only four months from our IPO is due to the extensive work the team at IG6 did in the years prior to and since our IPO, laying the foundations for our business plan.
The company is aiming to feed the knowledge generated from the pilot plant’s operations into a commercial scale micronising facility capable of treating third party material and bolstering cashflow.
International Graphite believes the commercial hub could also be integrated with its graphite beneficiation facilities to treat material from its wholly owned Springdale graphite project near Hopetoun in WA and subsequently churn out BAM.
Treating graphite from Springdale through purification techniques could allow the company to produce purified spheroidised graphite or “PSG” – a material used in battery cathodes.
Beneficiating further using micronising methods also produces BAM.
Test work on International Graphite’s material at Springdale indicates the operation’s assets offer excellent metallurgical characteristics that could readily flow into the production of battery anode grade PSG.
Once the project shifts into production, the company could then use its graphite as a feedstock in its production of BAM.
International Graphite is sitting on a respectable 15.6 million tonne resource at Springdale which grades about 6 cent total graphite content, or “TGC”. The project also houses a higher grade inferred resource of 2.6 million tonnes going an impressive 17.5 per cent TGC.
The company is currently aiming to build on the resource through an over 7000m RC and diamond drilling program at the site. The campaign aims to reclassify its inferred resources into the higher confidence measured and indicated categories, proving samples for additional test work and collecting data for mine planning.
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