Graphite plan for Kwinana

8th November 2019
Resources Rising Stars

Hopes for Kwinana to host a battery minerals processing hub have taken a step forward after Kibaran Resources said test work had bolstered its plans for a graphite processing facility on the industrial strip south of Perth (reports The West Australian).

Kibaran said work by consultant GR Engineering had supported the credentials of the company’s patented EcoGraf technology to produce a clean spherical graphite product for the anodes of lithium-ion batteries.

The news provides further impetus for Kwinana to lay claims to being a global centre for battery minerals processing.

China’s Tianqi Lithium has established a lithium hydroxide plant at Kwinana while BHP’s Nickel West is commissioning a nickel sulphate plant at its existing refinery in the area.

FYI Resources also has plans to establish a high-purity alumina processing plant at a site in the industrial suburb, with the product set to be used in the separators of lithium-ion batteries.

Kibaran’s plant is expected to cost $US22.8 million for an initial 5000tpa operation, followed by a further $US49.2m investment to expand production to 20,000tpa of battery graphite. The project will create 250 jobs during construction and more than 125 direct jobs during production.

The company plans to import natural flake graphite from existing producers and turn it into spherical graphite for batteries.

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