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International Graphite nabs strategic site in Collie

Updated: May 20

International Graphite CEO Andrew Worland inspects the new site in Collie. Credit: File

International Graphite has made a key strategic move in bedding down a site for its proposed battery anode material (BAM) plant near the Western Australian town of Collie.

Management says it is negotiating a lease of up to 40 years on private land in an industrial estate 5km from the South West town. It has signed an exclusive non-binding memorandum of understanding for an option agreement to negotiate the lease of about 20 hectares in the town’s Coolangatta industrial precinct.

The lease period is broken into an initial 20-year period with an option for a second 20-year term, which can be exercised at any time within two years. The decision follows the company’s recent scoping study which highlighted the “outstanding” economics of developing its proposed graphite BAM facility.

The land is cleared, well served by sealed roads and civil infrastructure, with ample space to accommodate our initial design and future expansion plans. Most importantly, it is only metres from the existing power network which gives us the opportunity to purchase energy at the lowest possible transmission cost. International Graphite managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Worland

International Graphite’s scoping study revealed that an estimated total capital cost to produce uncoated spheroidised purified graphite (USPG) is about US$87 million (AU$131.5 million), as opposed to the projected cost of producing coated spheroidised purified graphite (CSPG) at US$222 million (AU$335 million).

The company’s updated flowsheet involves graphite micronising, spheroidising and chemical purification to produce USPG, then carbon-coating to produce CSPG. Management believes its completed facility would be capable of producing up to 40,000 tonnes per year of graphite concentrates, with 18,600 tonnes per year of CSPG and 20,000 tonnes annually of USPG.

The CSPG facilities are predicted to produce an annual average revenue of about US$172 million (AU$260 million), with an EBITDA of US$100 million (AU$151 million). The company says using USPG-only facilities would produce an annual average revenue of US$95 million (AU$143.6 million) and an EBITDA of US$43 million (AU$65 million).

Management says the proposed plant has been designed as two parallel lines and could be implemented in stages, including the development of a USPG facility before expanding into coating.

While International Graphite’s latest figures are based on purchasing graphite concentrates from a third party, it intends to integrate its fully-owned Springdale graphite project near Hopetoun to provide the base material for the facility.

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 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.

The company plans to process its Springdale-sourced ore at its Collie processing facility, about 450 kilometres from the deposit. The procedure will allow it to transform the raw graphite material into a substance appropriate for use in the construction of lithium-ion batteries.

Collie has become the focal point for WA energy after the State Government last week declared one of the world’s biggest batteries will be installed in the former coal mining town as part of the $2.8 billion opening phase of its budget spend on a green-energy transformation.

The approximately 500-megawatt battery is scheduled to be operational before the end of 2025 and comes as International Graphite also assesses the feasibility of its large-scale battery.

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