Mineral Commodities has signed a graphitic anode sales and marketing Memorandum of Understanding with global commodity trading and logistics company Traxys. The agreement will see Traxys market Mineral Commodities’ downstream graphitic anode products produced from concentrate sourced from its Skaland mine in Norway and the company’s Munglinup development project in WA.
The deal, that is initially for three years aims to support graphitic anode qualification and secure subsequent offtake agreements.
Mineral Commodities says the move is a key ingredient in achieving the ‘5-year strategic plan’ outlined in late April that will see the company focus on delivering battery anodes to Europe with a secondary focus on finished garnet and ilmenite mineral products coming from South Africa.
This partnership will accelerate graphitic anode qualification and subsequent offtake agreements….and will underpin the final investment decisions for the Munglinup development, targeted Skaland expansion and the proposed Active Anode Materials Plant in Norway.
The news comes two days after it had announced the signing of another Memorandum of Understanding with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation.
The deal reached is expected to fast track its integration into Europe’s anode-materials supply chain ahead of schedule through the construction and operation of an anode plant in Norway to toll treat graphite material. It will see Mineral Commodities toll treat graphite supplied by – and then returned to – Mitsubishi.
In terms of its long-term strategic plan, Mineral Commodities is targeting two final investment decisions by the second quarter of 2023 in addition to delivering downstream graphitic anode product qualification.
The first decision revolves around the company’s plan to expand the capacity of its Skaland operation beyond its current limit of 16,000 tonnes per annum and will be underpinned by offtake agreements.
Whilst the second intends to significantly increase graphite concentrate production capacity via its Munglinup development project. The 7.99 million tonne resource at Munglinup is about half the grade of Skaland, however it is substantially larger and represents a significant opportunity for the company to beef up its operations and achieve economies of scale.
The company holds a sizeable 9.83Mt at 14.3 per cent total graphitic carbon, containing 1.4Mt of graphite across its Munglinup and Skaland projects.
Mineral Commodities hails Skaland as the world’s highest-grade operating flake graphite mine at 1.84Mt going an extraordinary 23.6 per cent graphitic carbon.
Interestingly, there is more graphite than lithium in an electric vehicle battery. With the electric vehicle set to play a major role in global decarbonisation, it is easy to see why the International Energy Agency believes demand for graphite could increase 20 to 25-fold by 2040.
The US Geological Survey pegs China as the leader when it comes to graphite production and says the eastern superpower’s rapidly growing domestic market for graphite may restrict future exports.
The authoritative body says China produced about 82 per cent of the world’s graphite in 2021 followed by Brazil with a meagre 6.8 per cent.
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