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NextSource starts pilot-scale work at new battery anode site in Mauritius

NextSource's battery anode facility site in Mauritius

NextSource's battery anode facility site in Mauritius

11th April 2024

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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TSX-listed NextSource Materials has made progress with the development of a battery anode facility in the Freeport Zone of Port Louis, Mauritius.

Following a comprehensive process, the company signed a long-term lease agreement for the site and has completed engineering improvements to the plant design.

The company has also started with an environmental permitting process and an updated economic assessment.

NextSource explains that the site offers significant operational benefits compared with its previous leased site, including direct port access and a high-quality existing concrete structure requiring minimal modifications. The structure also has sufficient space to expand the capacity of the plant in future.

Additionally, with the facility being located in a Freeport Zone, goods can be imported, stored, handled, manufactured and re-exported under specific customs regulations and are generally not subject to normal taxes and duties.

While the environmental permitting process is under way, NextSource has pre-ordered process equipment with a production capacity of 3 600 t/y of spheronised and purified graphite (SPG) and coated SPG.

The equipment is currently being fabricated and assembled offshore and will be shipped to Mauritius once the environmental permit is granted.

In the meantime, NextSource is setting up a small-scale pilot plant on site and preparing SuperFlake graphite concentrate from its Molo mine, in Madagascar, for production of samples for key original equipment manufacturer customers.

The company intends to become a vertically integrated global supplier of battery materials through the mining and value-added processing of graphite and other minerals.

NextSource says its Molo mine is one of the largest known graphite resources globally and the only one with SuperFlake graphite.

SuperFlake graphite concentrate has been independently tested and verified by major manufacturers and end-users of graphite products. It meets or exceeds the performance and quality criteria required for all top demand markets and applications for natural flake graphite. This graphite can achieve 98% carbon purity across all flake size distributions with simple flotation alone, and can be upgraded to 99.97% battery-grade purity with ease.

SuperFlake graphite’s thermal expansion coefficient is well above the global average and contains no deleterious substances.

The Molo mine is in the process of ramping up to nameplate production capacity of 17 000 t/y of graphite concentrate.

The battery anode facility in Mauritius is the first in a staged rollout planned for more facilities.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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