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International Graphite closing in on WA pilot production

International Graphite is just months from pilot production at a new research and development facility in Collie, Western Australia, after signing the lease on a 432 square metre building.

IG says its new digs will form the nucleus of its ongoing investigations into graphite processing, quality control, sample handling and could ratchet up its expertise in the bubbling sector.

The pilot plant is expected to be operational in the third quarter of this year and International Graphite has suggested it could move to expand the facility when the need arises.

International Graphite’s play to expand its R&D footprint and dive into pilot plant activities in Collie are part of its strategy that aims to deliver critical inputs for the company’s long-term operations.

The inputs include creating micronised and spherical graphite products for testing, refining laboratory test work and providing material handling and product management expertise.

Other goals incorporate providing guidance on the specification and selection of future commercial scale equipment, in addition to testing output for battery anode material suitability and yield expectations.

International Graphite says it has also taken delivery of a 98 per cent total graphite content feedstock that it plans to utilise to commission and run the spheroidising and micronising equipment.

Management says it will continue purchasing imported graphite material until its own Springdale Graphite mine is developed and operational, a development that is currently scheduled for 2024.

Unlike other players in the market, International Graphite is gunning for complete control of its graphite and plans to use the concentrate from its nearby Springdale deposit to make battery anode material at its processing facility in Collie.

Springdale already has an inferred resource greater than 15 million tonnes with a TGC of 6 per cent. Remarkably, the project contains a higher grade inferred resource of 2.6 million tonnes at 17.5 per cent TGC.

The company is currently crunching the numbers over a feasibility study for the Springdale deposit, that could see it dive headfirst into an open pit mining operation at the site in the next two years.

The business plans to purify the Springdale graphite at the Collie downstream processing facility to generate micronised graphite, an ultrafine ingredient used in the construction of lithium-ion batteries.

Much like the current demand for graphite the newly-listed company has been moving at speed since hitting the ASX floors about a month ago, sealing the acquisition of the Springdale graphite deposit, crossing the pond to list on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and now wrapping up a new research and development centre in Collie.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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