PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed EcoGraf has struck a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Korean major POSCO that would see EcoGraf supporting POSCO’s anode production expansion plans by supplying battery anode material products from its new Australian battery anode material facility and its planned facility in Europe.
EcoGraf and POSCO intend to enter into a formal offtake agreement for the proposed arrangements, containing terms and conditions customary for such contracts, and they will also evaluate other opportunities for cooperation on product development, battery anode recycling and the development of EcoGraf’s battery anode material business.
EcoGraf’s Australian facility will use the EcoGraf HFfree processing technology, and would be the first of its type globally, exporting high quality, sustainably produced battery anode material products for anode, lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle markets in Asia, Europe and North America.
Production capacity for Stage 1 of the facility will be 5 000 t/y of battery-grade spherical graphite, increasing to 20 000 t/y with the completion of Stage 2, with the processing plant expected to cost $72-million and employing 275 staff during construction.
The company will fund the initial phase of the development from its existing cash reserves from a recent A$54.6-million capital raise, while the Stage 2 expansion would be financed through a combination of cash reserves and loan funding.
As part of developing the new facility with a zero-waste operating philosophy, EcoGraf is conducting a global product development programme to access higher-value customer markets and maximise the economic and sustainability advantages of the EcoGraf purification process.
The initial focus of these programmes is the production of low emission recarburisers for the steel industry, ultra-fine battery conductivity enhancers and high-purity fines for lubrication, thermal efficiency and fire-resistant applications.