Graphite from Evolution Energy’s Chilalo project to be tested for battery potential

Evolution Energy Minerals has partnered with a US technology firm to evaluate the suitability of graphite flake from its flagship Chilalo Graphite Project in Tanzania for coated battery anode materials.

In an update to the ASX, Evolution said it will undertake a commercial verification programme with the established battery manufacturer after identifying extremely low levels of naturally occurring molybdenum and boron in Chilalo graphite concentrate.

The high purity nature of the graphite concentrate gives Evolution the option to target both the premium performance battery market and nuclear-grade graphite market. Both applications require graphite at a purity above 99.95%.

“It is very pleasing that the exceptionally low molybdenum and boron content of Chilalo graphite opens two pathways for use of our graphite in value-added markets,” said Evolution’s managing director Phil Hoskins.

“Our US technology partner will aim to use advanced technologies to build on this foundation, to size, shape, coat and otherwise process our premium-quality flake graphite and turn them into battery and nuclear industry-ready graphite commanding premium prices.”

Purified graphite with low molybdenum impurities used in advanced battery industry applications currently sells for US$8,000-18,000 per tonne, a material mark-up compared to uncoated spherical graphite at $3,000.

Meanwhile, qualified purified graphite for the nuclear industry – which requires an even higher level of purity – is valued at $30,000 per tonne.

Evolution’s Chilalo asset boasts a mineral resource of 67.3 million tonnes at 5.4% total graphite content for 3.66 million tonnes of graphite.