- Kibaran Resources has advised pre-development work is underway for its proposed EcoGraf battery graphite production facility in Kwinana
- The plant has a forecast up-front capital cost of US$22.8 million for 5000 tonnes per annum, followed by a further US$49.2 million to expand production to 20,000 tonnes per annum of battery-grade graphite
- The facility will incorporate Kibaran’s EcoGraf purification process which doesn’t use highly toxic hydrofluoric acid – a key ingredient used in China
Kibaran Resources has advised pre-development work is underway for its proposed EcoGraf battery graphite production facility in Kwinana, Western Australia.
The company is advancing this work after an engineering study confirmed the plant would be financially and technically robust.
The plant has a forecast up-front capital cost of US$22.8 million for an initial 5000 tonnes per annum, followed by a further US$49.2 million to expand production to 20,000 tonnes per annum of battery-grade graphite.
A financial investment decision is scheduled for early 2020.
Currently, Kibaran is in discussions with several organisations to obtain approvals and licences to develop the project. It’s also working with LandCorp, the WA Government’s land development agency, to secure the proposed site.
The proposed Kwinana plant will incorporate Kibaran’s EcoGraf purification which has the advantage of not using hydrofluoric acid, a key ingredient in all graphite processing plants currently operating in China.
While hydrofluoric acid achieves a 99.95 per cent carbon grade, it is also highly toxic. The Hubei and Shandong provinces in China are the largest producing areas of battery graphite and they are being pressured to be more eco-friendly and strict on occupational health and safety regulations.
EcoGraf is positioned as an eco-friendly alternative new supply.
Kibaran is in discussion with the Australian Federal and State Governments on the benefits of the EcoGraf process. So far, its development meets the criteria for the planned creation of WA’s Future Battery Industry within the Kwinana Industrial Area.
The Future Battery Industry Strategy aims to grow WA’s future battery industry and transform it into a significant source of economic development, jobs and skills – Kibaran is set to be a key player while remaining environmentally friendly.
The demand for battery graphite is continually increasing. Benchmark Minerals reported EV penetration rates increasing from two per cent in 2018 to 25 per cent by 2025.