20/01/2021 - 15:42

WA companies win in battery boom

20/01/2021 - 15:42


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A fast-growing EV market has benefited companies such as Talga Group and EcoGraf, amid reports suggesting even more demand for battery graphite products in 2021.

WA companies win in battery boom
EcoGraf is focussed on developing a battery graphite processing facility in Kwinana. Photo: EcoGraf

Signs of a fast-growing electric vehicle market have benefited Western Australian companies such as Talga Group and EcoGraf, amid reports suggesting even more demand for battery graphite products in 2021.

The share price of EcoGraf, which is planning to build a $98 million graphite processing facility in Rockingham, has doubled since Monday.

And since the start of the year, shares in the Perth-based business have risen by 128 per cent.

EcoGraf told the ASX this morning it was not aware of any information that could explain its recent trading.

“EGR [EcoGraf] is aware of strong European growth in the lithium battery sector, combined with new EU legislation on batteries that supports EGR’s vertically integrated graphite businesses,” the company said.

“As a result, there is increasing interest in the battery mineral sector and the potential for EGR to use its EcoGraf purification technology to provide electric vehicle and battery manufacturers with an environmentally superior, high quality source of battery graphite.”

EcoGraf is focused on developing a graphite processing facility to produce high-purity battery graphite, suitable for use in lithium-ion batteries (used in electric vehicles).

The company is working on securing approvals for a $US35 million debt funding arrangement for the proposed 20,000 tonnes per annum project. It plans to export battery anode products to Asia, Europe, and the US.

The state government has shown support for the Kwinana facility, with Premier Mark McGowan having said it aligned with the government’s Future Battery Industry Strategy.

EcoGraf is a member of the state’s battery industry taskforce, which aims to strengthen downstream processing of graphite, lithium, nickel, and rare earths.

The taskforce has mainly focused on the supply for lithium-ion batteries, which are also used in mobile phones, laptops, and cameras. Its work will run alongside the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre, which includes industry member Talga Group.

Today, Talga announced it had increased the offer under an oversubscribed share purchase plan (SPP), which drew an additional $43.5 million worth of applications.

The SPP was priced at $1.45 per share and originally targeted $10 million from investors.

Talga received just under 4,000 applications, representing more than half of its shareholders.

The board has now increased the size of the SPP to about $30 million, while also having brought forward activities associated with its Vittangi graphite project in Sweden.


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