Aim-listed explorer and developer Beowulf’s wholly-owned Finnish subsidiary and graphite miner Fennoscandian Resources has been granted €791 000 by innovation funding and trade, travel and investment promotion agency Business Finland.
The grant funding is equivalent to 50% of the three-year €1.6-million budget for Fennoscandian’s spheronisation and purification of natural graphite for the European lithium-ion battery market project.
The objectives of the project are to develop a chemical-free technological solution, utilising renewable energy, to spheronise and purify graphite within a Finnish industrial ecosystem, for use in the manufacture of lithium-ion battery anodes.
The grant is part of the Finland-based circular ecosystem of battery metals BATCircle2.0 consortium, which has been granted €10.8-million by Business Finland as part of a total funding budget of €19.3-million.
BATCircle2.0 is a key project in Business Finland’s Smart Mobility and Batteries from Finland programmes.
Finland has high-quality natural flake graphite resources, and the opportunity exists to create a sustainable value chain for anode material markets in Finland and Europe. Currently, China is the dominant producer of spheronised graphite, using chemical purification and hazardous hydrofluoric acid.
Fennoscandian’s project has three main objectives, including to validate a process to support progress to a bankable feasibility study for construction of a commercial scale unit within three to five years.
The other two objectives include the securing and protecting of any arising intellectual property, and the delivery of a detailed strategic marketing and commercialisation plan.
Fennoscandian CEO Kurt Budge says, “we are proud to be part of the Finnish battery ecosystem and collaborating with Finnish universities, research institutions and companies, all wanting to play their part in addressing the Climate Emergency.”
He adds that the scoping study for the Aitolampi graphite project is due to be completed in the coming weeks, as the company continues to work with Epsilon Advance Materials on the establishment of a strategic processing hub for producing pre-cursor anode material.