Kibaran Resources announced on Monday that it has produced superior-quality battery-grade graphite for the lithium-ion battery market with graphite from its Epanko Project in Tanzania.
Kibaran considers the results to be significant because they demonstrate the potential for the company to establish a downstream processing operation to supply the lithium-ion battery market.
Samples of the battery-grade graphite, which was produced under commercial production conditions at a graphite processing plant, have been sent to key anode manufacturers in Asia under the binding agreement and partnership Kibaran has with leading graphite trader Sojitz Corporation.
The tests were part of the company’s feasibility study of the production of battery-grade graphite using product from Epanko. The Epanko mine and flotation project is at an advanced stage with due diligence for bank finance currently underway.
The graphite junior is specifically targeting the major anode manufactures outside China, where growth in demand is expected on the back of the electric vehicle market.
According to Kibaran, the quality of Kibaran’s battery-grade graphite is superior to that produced in China.
Current demand for lithium-ion-battery-grade natural graphite is estimated at 48,000 tonnes per year with all this material sourced from China.
Kibaran has sufficient quantity to distribute its samples all over the world, including to the important US market where Tesla dominates production of electric vehicles, and to Germany.
The German government has announced 1.2 billion in subsidies and provided a resolution to the EU to ban the sale of internal combustion engines in the European Union by 2030. Only zero-emissions vehicles will be allowed on the market after that time, according to the resolution (reference www.forbes.com).
Kibaran concluded that the latest results support Kibaran’s view that it will be able to vertically integrate its operations from the mine through to the production of battery-grade graphite. This provides Kibaran with significant competitive and technical advantages due the existing binding agreements is has secured.
Kibaran MS Andrew Spinks said: “Kibaran is capitalising on the strong forecast growth in demand for battery-grade graphite from the booming lithium-ion battery industry. With a focus on production of realistic quantities of high-quality battery-grade graphite at competitive costs, paired with environmental sustainability, Kibaran can be a leading non-Chinese supplier.”