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International Graphite set to fire up micronising plant

Updated: May 20

The qualification plant installation at International Graphite’s research and development facility in Collie. Credit: File

International Graphite is closing in on a significant company milestone with the expected commissioning next month of its new micronising plant at Collie in WA’s South West region.

Management today revealed it had kicked off the installation of the plant, which it says will be capable of producing 100 to 200 tonnes per annum of micronised graphite products at the quality necessary to secure customer sales agreements.

The plant will also be used to develop graphite operating and materials handling expertise. It would be available for testwork on graphite concentrates from the company’s Springdale project near the coastal town of Hopetoun.

Just last month, International Graphite revealed it had more than tripled the size of its mineral resource at Springdale to a whopping 49.3 million tonnes at 6.5 per cent total graphitic carbon (TGC). The impressive new resource also includes a grade increase from the previous figure of 15.3 million tonnes at 6 per cent TGC, with 11.5 million tonnes at 7.5 per cent TGC in the indicated category.

Management says the new plant is another milestone in its plans to produce battery anode material (BAM) in WA for the growing lithium-ion battery market. Micronised graphite is the first step in the production of BAM and a by-product of the spheroidising process. It can be sold as a conductive additive to battery cathodes or for use in a wide range of industrial applications.

Our focus now is to complete the necessary technical studies to integrate graphite concentrate production from Springdale with BAM facilities in Collie and to establish the Company as a globally pre-eminent mine-to-market supplier of graphite for the lithium-ion battery market. International Graphite managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Worland

In August, the company received WA Government approval to proceed with its planned installation of a micronising qualification plant and related infrastructure at its downstream research facility in Collie. It says the custom-built plant is a significant improvement on its pilot processing plant that was commissioned a year ago.

In May, it locked in $4.7 million from the Federal Government towards feasibility studies to fast-track its mine-to-market graphite supply chain development plans in WA.

International Graphite also reached a $2 million financial assistance agreement with the WA Government in October last year as part of the Collie Futures Industry Development Fund grant scheme. The funds were earmarked for the development of the company’s graphite processing pilot plant, in addition to its research and development facility in the South West town.

The Springdale 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.

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