Tech company Hazer Group has entered into a collaboration agreement with diversified business Mineral Resources, for development of a facility to produce synthetic graphite.
The two Perth-based companies will jointly develop a large-scale commercial synthetic graphite facility that will initially target production of 1,000 tonnes per annum of ultra-high purity graphite.
The facility will also have the capability of a modular expansion to 10,000tpa.
MinRes, which is a shareholder in Hazer with about a 14 per cent stake, will fund the project while Hazer will provide technical assistance and obtain royalties from revenue generated from the sale of graphite from the facility.
The venture will initially focus on a pilot scale facility capable of producing 1tpa, the initial commissioning of which has been slated for mid-2018.
Hazer is working to commercialise its Hazer Process, which converts natural gas and similar feedstocks into hydrogen and high-quality graphite. It uses iron ore as a process catalyst.
“Mineral Resources has been a significant shareholder and supporter of Hazer since our IPO, and are the ideal partner for this next stage of commercialisation towards high value synthetic graphite products,” Hazer managing director Geoff Pocock said.
“MinRes has an excellent track record in innovation and in delivering projects in accelerated timeframes.
“The company has substantial existing exposure to the battery industry to enable rapid market penetration.”
Hazer shares were 21.9 per cent higher to 50 cents each at the close.