Battery anode materials company EcoGraf has appointed experienced executive Dale Harris as COO to drive the development of its integrated battery graphite businesses.
Harris spent 20 years working for diversified mining major Rio Tinto, becoming Rio Tinto Iron Ore COO and filling several GM positions. Thereafter, Harris became Gindalbie Metals MD and then Karara Mining Joint Venture CEO.
Most recently, he filled the position of global engineering group Hatch director.
Harris has joined EcoGraf as it prepares to undertake construction of its first hydrogen fluoride- (HF-) free battery anode material facility in Western Australia and also finalises development arrangements for its Epanko graphite project in Tanzania.
Harris’ experience in project development and operations will be valuable as he works with EcoGraf MD Andrew Spinks and the board to drive development of the company’s vertically integrated battery minerals businesses, leveraging the EcoGraf HF-free purification process to manufacture high purity battery anode material from high-grade Epanko graphite.
EcoGraf said on July 4 that demand for natural graphite, led by the global lithium-ion battery market, was forecast to increase at a rate of 31.5% a year this decade, with customers requiring new sources of supply and seeking to reduce their reliance on existing supply chains in China.
EcoGraf believed it was positioned to support this high growth through its Tanzanian flake graphite projects and environmentally superior, high-purity battery anode material products.
The company said that its extensive testing programmes with prospective customers and independent consultants have demonstrated the performance of Epanko graphite in mechanical shaping, purification and electrochemical testing, confirming the effectiveness of EcoGraf’s process.
The first new state-of-the-art EcoGraf processing facility in Western Australia will manufacture spherical graphite products for export to Asia, Europe and North America. The battery graphite production base will be expanded to include additional processing facilities in Europe and North America to support the global transition to clean, renewable energy in the coming decade and the rapid growth in battery materials.
In addition, EcoGraf’s recovery of carbon anode material from recycled batteries using a proprietary process will enable the recycling industry to reduce battery waste and use recycled carbon anode material to improve battery lifecycle efficiency.