Australian graphite producer Syrah Resources has achieved
its first production of unpurified spherical graphite at its
battery anode material (BAM) facility at Louisiana in the
United States, Davide Ghilotti reports.
The company, which operates the Balama flake graphite mine
in Mozambique, has completed installing milling equipment at
the site, with capacity for 5,000 tonnes per year.
The first volumes of spherical graphite produced will be
tested and developed to meet customer qualifications, the
Syrah acquired the Louisiana facility for its BAM project in
May 2018 and has been running the plant with flake-graphite
feedstock mined at its Mozambique operation.
While the overall majority of spherical graphite production
capacity is currently located in China, the global evolution of
the electric vehicle (EV) industry is leading to new production
facilities being established outside the East Asian
Spherical graphite prices moved up over the course of 2018
with the higher production and sales of EVs supporting demand
for the material, which is used in battery anodes.
The installation of purification equipment at the Louisiana
facility, which will allow batch processing of purified
spherical graphite, is also continuing, with the company
intending to produce purified spherical graphite during the
first quarter of 2019.
Syrah starts commercial graphite production at Balma
On January 14, Syrah announced that production volumes and
consistency had reached the levels needed for commercial
production, William Clarke reports.
In 2018, the Balama facility reached production output of
104,000 tonnes over the year, compared with nameplate capacity
for 350,000 tonnes per year.
Progress at the project was stalled for five weeks in
October 2018 due to a fire.
Syrah will provide further updates on the progress of the
ramp-up on January 30, when it releases its quarterly financial
results for the fourth quarter of 2018.
In December 2018, Syrah announced a binding offtake
agreement for a minimum of 48,000 tpy with Chinese company
Qingdao Langruite Graphite. The deal has an option for another
12,000 tonnes of offtake to be sold at Syrah’s