JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Kibaran Resources has signed a binding agreement with German-based ProGraphite under which it would grant Kibaran full access to its extensive technical and commercial knowledge relating to the processing of graphite for use in battery product applications.
Noting that this was an important step in its strategy to be a global leader in graphite mining and processing, Kibaran highlighted that the exclusive agreement follows the release of its feasibility study on downstream processing of graphite from its Epanko graphite project in Tanzania earlier this month.
The study found that production of battery-grade graphite using Kibaran’s proprietary purification technology would be low-cost and environmentally friendly. In light of these findings, Kibaran has decided to establish a pilot plant in Germany in early 2018, which would subsequently be expanded to enable commercial scale production and supply of premium battery graphite to customers in Europe and Asia.
ProGraphite, which has Kibaran non-executive director and global graphite specialist Christoph Frey as its MD, will play an active role in the establishment and operation of this pilot plant.
“ProGraphite’s leading-edge knowledge and capability would help ensure Kibaran met the exact product specifications required by the market,” Kibaran MD Andrew Spinks said.
ProGraphite will provide Kibaran with exclusive rights to the intellectual property, trademarks, licences, technology, and other assets developed for the downstream processing business.
As consideration for granting these rights, ProGraphite will be entitled to receive a future royalty from the commercial sales of the downstream processing business. Kibaran may also elect to buy-back the royalty at any time up to December 31, 2020, for A$2-million, payable in cash or shares.
The royalty rate will be finalised within the definitive agreement which both parties have agreed to be completed no later than May 1, 2018.