19/07/2021 - 16:35

Comet ready to road test battery-grade graphite from WA project

19/07/2021 - 16:35

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ASX-listed Comet Resources expects to have results of testwork to assess the suitability of concentrate produced from its Springdale graphite project in Western Australia to be used in battery anode manufacturing in the current quarter. The company says the testing at a specialised facility in Germany follows initial “excellent” grade and recovery results in preparation of the concentrate sample in Perth.

Comet Resources has its sights on battery-grade graphite from Springdale in Western Australia. Credit: File

ASX-listed Comet Resources expects to have results of testwork to assess the suitability of concentrate produced from its Springdale graphite project in Western Australia to be used in battery anode manufacturing in the current quarter. The company says the testing at a specialised facility in Germany follows preparation of the concentrate sample in Perth.

Initial metallurgical testwork earlier this year on natural flake graphite obtained from high-grade drill core from Comet’s Springdale project produced a concentrate with both “excellent grade and recoveries”. Interestingly, earlier tests also demonstrated graphite from Springdale is a rare product due to its small flake size, potentially making it ideally suited to battery anode production.

According to the company, the bulk sample concentrate sent to a specialist lab in Germany will undergo assessment of its performance during purification, micronisation and spheronisation. Identified as the key steps for processing natural graphite products for electric vehicle or “EV” battery anode markets, the simulations are to be performed on Springdale concentrate to determine its suitability to meet industry standards in these areas.

Additional concentrate has also been provided to a “third-party producer” of natural flake graphite products for battery anodes for separate evaluation.

Final test results are expected in the current quarter.

Natural flake graphite has been included on lists of critical raw materials by government agencies in both the United States and the European Union. The recent announcement by the EU to ban the sale of all petrol cars by 2035 highlights the increasing urgency of global economies around electrifying vehicle fleets. Graphite suitable for battery anode production is highly sought after and attracts a premium price in graphite markets.

Comet Resources Managing Director Matthew O’Kane said: “We now have material for testing in Germany, both for ourselves and a third-party producer of anode material. The results of these testwork programs will determine the suitability of Comet’s natural flake graphite from the high-grade zone at Springdale for use in the manufacture of battery anodes for electric vehicles. With the continued push towards an electrified transport network, demand for these graphite products is expected to continue to grow.”

The company’s 100%-owned Springdale graphite project is located about 30km east of Hopetoun in south Western Australia, and conveniently within 150km of the port at Esperance which is accessible via sealed roads.

Comet’s total tenure of 198 sq.km comprises three tenements that lie within the deformed southern margin of the Yilgarn Craton and constitute part of the Albany-Fraser Orogen.

A maiden inferred resource has been determined for a total of 15.6 million tonnes at 6% total graphitic carbon or “TGC”, including a handy high-grade resource of 2.6 million tonnes at 17.5% TGC.

According to Comet, exploration to date has focused on less than 20% of the 26km of identified prospective stratigraphy. On that basis there seems plenty of upside still for further discoveries of a commodity that is going to play an increasingly important role in the world’s new energy transition.

 

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

 

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