30/11/2021 - 13:17

Comet achieves battery anode grade graphite

30/11/2021 - 13:17

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Comet Resources has managed to produce industry standard “spherical graphite” in tests designed to determine if its Springdale Graphite Project in WA can supply graphite for lithium battery anodes. Following on from testing in 2019 and 2020, Comet says it has now navigated this challenge and the latest process has increased the yield of spherical graphite from 40 per cent to 60 per cent.

Comet achieves battery anode grade graphite
The Springdale Graphite Project. Credit: File

Comet Resources has managed to produce industry standard “spherical graphite” in tests designed to determine if its Springdale Graphite Project in WA can supply graphite for lithium battery anodes. Following on from testing in 2019 and 2020, Comet says it has now navigated this challenge and the latest process has increased the yield of spherical graphite from 40 per cent to 60 per cent.

The testing of raw natural flake graphite product mined at Springdale took place in a German test facility.

The company’s Springdale landholdings, located east of Hopetown in the Great Southern Region of Western Australia, takes in approximately 198 square kilometres and hosts the company’s namesake graphite deposit that currently lays claim to a 15 million tonne resource going 6 per cent total graphitic carbon or “TGC”. The resource includes a high-grade 2.6Mt core going a noteworthy 17.5 per cent TGC, one of the highest-grade graphite ores internationally.

Comet says its Springdale graphite is somewhat unique due to its very fine size fraction and the “platy” nature of the fine flake. It is one of a rare number of high quality graphite deposits globally capable of being used in the production of battery anode material for lithium batteries used in modern equipment including electric vehicles.

Testing of the Springdale graphite has focussed on improving the efficiency of the process and improving the density and purity of the output spherical graphite.

Having achieved anode grade spherical graphite, Comet can now pause work pending completion of a proposed transaction with International Graphite to form a vertically integrated mining and manufacturing business for battery anode grade spherical graphite. The proposed transaction is subject to shareholder approval at the Company's Annual General Meeting to be held on 17 December 2021.

Comet proposes to gain a stake in the vertically integrated business by vending in its Springdale Graphite project and the transaction values the Springdale Graphite project at $8 million worth of International Graphite shares. International Graphite will launch an IPO following which Comet will receive 40,000,000 escrowed shares in International Graphite. The transaction will place tenements E74/612 and E74/562 under the control of International Graphite and Comet will then hold approximately 25 per cent of International Graphite shares and have the right to place one member on its board of directors. The IPO is slated to take place towards the end of the first Quarter in 2022 with the goal to raise $6-$8 million at $0.20 per share.

This upside for the embattled town of Collie in WA could also be significant the International Graphite downstream processing facility is proposed to be built in the coal-mining town. A definitive feasibility study for the Collie project has been completed and first equipment consisting of an ultra-high temperature furnace for graphite purification research and development is already on site alongside a pilot spheroidising plant. In recognition of the contribution this project will make to the transformation of Collie into an emerging renewable energy hub, the State Government has provided the project with $2 million in taxpayer funding toward the development of the Collie facility.

Western Australia has long been a stronghold for many battery metals. It produces over 50 per cent of the world’s lithium, ranks in the top 5 percent of cobalt producers and produces around 10 per cent of rare earths and more than 5 per cent of battery grade nickel along with manganese, copper, vanadium and now graphite.

Currently the world still produces over 200 million internal combustion engines annually with electric vehicles recently achieving two million sales in one year. This is the first opportunity for WA to mine and manufacture graphite battery anode materials to feed the rapidly growing global market for electric vehicles and represents a new string to the state’s bow. 

 

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

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