TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – The stock of TSX-V-listed Alabama Graphite Corp (AGC) traded in positive territory on Tuesday, boosted by a company report that it has completed successful downstream lithium-ion battery tests on its coated spherical purified graphite (CSPG).
The Toronto-based firm had produced CSPG in the US through its environment-friendly proprietary CSPG manufacturing process, with graphite sourced from its 100%-owned Coosa graphite project, located in east-central Alabama.
The company’s objective is to become a vertically integrated green-energy supply chain producer of CSPG for the burgeoning American lithium-ion battery industry.
“We are very pleased with these positive preliminary results of our natural flake CSPG material’s performance in lithium-ion battery testing. Our recently released preliminary economic assessment demonstrated that our planned vertically integrated, proprietary CSPG production process holds the potential for AGC to become a US supplier of specialty, secondary-processed graphite products for the lithium-ion battery markets,” president and CEO Donald Baxter stated.
Testing results on the company’s CSPG exceeded the performance of the comparison benchmark of commercially available grade material and also confirmed AGC’s potential midstream capability to manufacture and tailor lithium-ion battery anode-grade graphite to create value-added products that meet demanding downstream customer specifications.
AGC said that independent battery testing evaluated its CSPG, demonstrating that AGC’s CSPG responded well in CR2016 lithium-ion battery coin cell (half-cell with lithium counter electrode) performance testing.
A total of 60 CR2016 lithium-ion half-cell batteries were manufactured in the US, with AGC’s ultra-high-purity grade (99.95% Cg) CSPG as a material component, and used in the tests.
According to AGC, the CSPG performed well in the tests, achieving near theoretical electrochemical performance.
Among the highlights of the test results was the observation that the graphite percentage by loss-on-ignition test was 99.95 wt%, while the tap density was 0.985 g/cm3. It was also established that tight control could be achieved over CSPG particle size distribution and that initial performance suggested that AGC’s CSPG had high stability upon cycling. High-rate pulse discharge indicated that the CSPG could operate at high drain rates and AGC’s CSPG had a comparatively low 0.62 m2/g Brunauer, Emmett and Teller surface area, which was a key safety metric as well as a prerequisite for achieving low irreversible capacity loss.
“These test results indicate that our CSPG from natural flake graphite is not only suitable for lithium-ion battery use, but that its performance appears to be superior to costlier and environmentally questionable synthetic graphite. We look forward to conducting additional battery and CSPG testing, including long-term cycling performance testing, which is another critical metric in demonstrating the performance of CSPG as a battery material,” Baxter commented.
AGC’s TSX-V-listed stock on Tuesday rose nearly 19% on the company’s announcement, to change hands at C$0.19 apiece. The stock had managed to climb 3.33% over the past 12 months, a feat for any junior mining firm in the tough global economic climate.