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International Graphite gets $4.2 million vote of confidence

Updated: May 20

International Graphite chief financial officer Robert Hodby and chief technical officer David Pass. Credit: File

International Graphite has locked in $4.2 million from the Federal Government towards feasibility studies to fast-track its mine-to-market graphite supply chain development plans in Western Australia.

The company plans to process ore from its Springdale graphite project near Hopetoun in the State’s deep south at its proposed graphite battery anode materials facility in Collie, about 450 kilometres from the deposit.

The funding was awarded through the national Critical Minerals Development Program, which is administered by the Federal Department of Industry Science and Resources. The grants recognise early and mid-stage critical minerals projects aimed at furthering Australia’s transition to net-zero emissions, while supporting economic development and jobs in regional communities.

The company says the funding will be used to advance feasibility studies for its proposed graphite mine at Springdale, in addition to an advanced battery anode material manufacturing plant and the construction of a planned graphite micronising facility at Collie.

This grant is an important vote of confidence in our business and confirmation that projects like Springdale and Collie are vital in meeting global decarbonisation targets. The world needs new graphite supply. Battery and electric vehicle manufacturers worldwide are searching for new graphite supplies, with high ESG values, to meet the unprecedented demand for batteries. International Graphite managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Worland

Springdale boasts an inferred resource of more than 15 million tonnes with a total graphite content (TGC) of 6 per cent. Notably, the project houses an even higher grade 2.6-million-tonne inferred resource running at a grade of 17.5 per cent TGC. The project is a near-surface, potentially open-pit mining operation that is strategically located on WA’s south coast and offers a well-developed infrastructure of roads and ports.

Back in October last year, the WA Government concluded a $2 million financial assistance agreement with International Graphite as part of the Collie Futures Industry Development Fund grant. The funds will assist ongoing development of the company’s graphite processing pilot plant and research and development facility in Collie that is expected to churn out about 4000 tonnes a year of micronised graphite.

In March, International Graphite completed a definitive feasibility study (DFS) that significantly expands on the production rates initially contemplated when the State Government grant was secured and the company says annual production could even be as high as 5000 tonnes a year.

The DFS shows operational costs for producing micronised graphite sits at an average of US$1980 (AU$2982) per tonne with a current sales price of US$3000 (AU$4519) per tonne.

Micronised graphite is an essential ingredient for a wide range of industrial products including polymers, adhesives, ceramics and specialty lubricants. Importantly, the product is also the first step in the production of lithium battery anode material that the company also plans on producing in Collie.

A total of 13 projects around Australia received funding in the Federal Government’s program, including seven in WA.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said the projects would speed up development of Australia’s critical minerals sector and help Australia and export partners lower emissions and meet net-zero commitments by 2050.

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