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Graphite from Namibian mine ready for the battery world

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The Aukam graphite project has produced about 700 kilograms of minimum 96% grade concentrate as part of a pilot plant to generate bulk samples to send to global alkaline battery producers.

Gratomic owns the Aukam Graphite deposit in the Karas Region that covers 137,473 hectares under EPLs 3895, EPL 6710, EPL 7512, and EPL 7513 on the farm Aukam 104 and Harichab 121.

In June 2023, Gratomic announced a commercial partnership and sales agreement with TM2 Verticals to supply purified flake graphite from the Aukam project to the alkaline battery sector.

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Gratomic also partnered with Suntech Labs of South Africa to upgrade the Aukam graphite concentrate to the 96% grade the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) require.

Gratomic’s stockpiled graphite was tested and processed, achieving 96.8% and 97,1% grade concentrate across multiple tests with an average recovery of 80%+.

The material will be sent to midstream processors in the United States and Japan for conversion into purified flake graphite, after which it will be supplied to a global OEM for Phase 1 battery performance testing.

After Phase 1, Gratomic and TM2 will enter Phase 2 of testing, which will include supplying more concentrate from the mine in Namibia to produce a million battery cell units as the final qualification stage, with the OEM financing the qualification process.

Once the supply chain and the purified flake graphite have been qualified, the OEM will enter into a direct purchase agreement with the Commercial Partnership, which is currently in advanced discussions for expected timelines, logistics and potential long-term offtake agreements subject to outcomes of the qualification program.

Gratomic CEO Arno Brand said the partnership with TM2 is steadily advancing towards the common objectives of being ahead of the competition in one of the most dynamic high-value applications for graphite.

TM2 CEO Petur Georgesson said every major OEM on the planet will be backwards integrating to the mine- securing long-term supply and a reliable supply chain remains on target.

“The alkaline battery market represents a massive opportunity with estimated annual sales of US$8b, comprising over 12 billion battery cells sold, requiring more than 14,000 tons of graphite material.

“By building globally integrated and connected markets, TM2 and Gratomic will be able to take a piece of this market and positively enhance disrupted alkaline battery supply chains together,” Georgesson said.

 

Source: the extractor magazine

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