Syrah Resources has announced completion of a BFS for expansion of its natural graphite AAM facility in Vidalia, USA as it continues to execute its strategy of becoming the first vertically integrated producer of natural graphite AAM outside of China.
Syrah MD and CEO Shaun Verner, says:
“The BFS confirms strong positive economics for commercial scale natural graphite AAM production at Vidalia, with robust operating margins implied compared to current observed spot natural graphite AAM prices, which are arguably at the low point of the cycle.
“Vidalia vertically integrated with Balama presents a unique value proposition: scale; independence and localisation with USA battery production; critical mineral security; and ESG auditability back to the graphite source.
“The completion of the BFS further enhances engagement with potential off-take customers, financiers, and Government, and represents an exciting milestone in the execution of our USA and vertical integration strategy, which commenced in 2016.”
The BFS confirms that 10 ktpa of AAM production can be achieved via expansion of existing plant and infrastructure within Syrah’s existing 25-acre industrial site.
The BFS included a review of effluent discharge plans, to ensure large-scale AAM production at Syrah’s site in Vidalia will comply with all regulatory requirements, including environmental.
Syrah’s site in Vidalia is well located for large-scale AAM production with proximity to potential customers; access to key utilities (water/gas/power); proximity to an established petrochemical industry which provides access to key consumables; a skilled workforce; and adjacent barge/port access to the Mississippi River.
Syrah’s Vidalia facility can produce 5,000 metric tonnes per annum (5 ktpa) of unpurified spherical graphite and 0.2 ktpa of purified spherical graphite to battery specification.
Installation of a furnace in Q1, 2021 will enable the capability to produce 0.2 ktpa of natural graphite AAM, and will represent the furthest progressed ex-China vertically integrated production of natural graphite AAM globally.
Syrah established this installed asset base to facilitate product qualification with potential customers, which requires demonstration of capability to produce natural graphite AAM that is representative of commercial-scale production.
Syrah has invested US$56 million to date in de-risking market entry into the
battery anode supply chain, including construction and operation of the existing asset base in Vidalia and technical product development.
Syrah committed the capital for the current installed asset base at Vidalia for purposes of product qualification after extensive bench and pilot scale de-risking steps from 2016.