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Graphex Technologies announce offtake agreement with Syrah

Syrah’s Balama graphite operation is the largest natural graphite operation outside of China, with a production capacity of 350 000 mt per year

Syrah’s Balama graphite operation is the largest natural graphite operation outside of China, with a production capacity of 350 000 mt per year

2nd August 2023

By: Cameron Mackay

Creamer Media Senior Online Writer

     

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Graphex Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global midstream processor of natural graphite anode material for use in lithium-ion batteries Graphex Group, has entered into an offtake agreement with a wholly-owned subsidiary of graphite and battery anode company Syrah Resources for natural flake graphite from Syrah’s Balama graphite operation, in Mozambique.

The agreement is another key strategic step forward for Graphex Group.

It provides Graphex Group with a diverse supply of quality raw materials as the company forges ahead with its plans to bring domestic processing facilities online to supply automakers and battery gigafactories with the needed anode material for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, beginning with initial graphite processing facilities in Michigan, in the US, before expanding to support the broader North American market.

The company states that demand for EVs continues to rise, with recent reports outlining forecasts that more than one-million EVs will be sold by the end of this year alone – a 35% year-on-year increase.

The incentives included in the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for new EVs with domestically sourced and/or processed components are anticipated to further catapult demand through 2030, when 50% of all new car sales are expected to be electric, it adds.

Critical minerals, such as refined graphite, that power EV batteries are key components to the electrification movement, and US government incentives can be accessed when those critical minerals are procured from approved countries and processed domestically.

As EV demand continues to expand, the need for natural flake graphite is set to grow exponentially and is expected to reach 4.1-million tonnes a year by 2030.

Syrah’s Balama graphite operation is the largest natural graphite operation outside of China, with a production capacity of 350 000 t/y and a mine life of more than 50 years underpinned by a globally significant high-grade natural graphite reserve and resource.

“This agreement with Syrah could change the graphite game in North America,” says Graphex Technologies CEO John DeMaio.

“Connecting Syrah’s volume with our proven experience and ongoing build-out of domestic processing capacity in North America represents a giant leap forward in meeting the demand for high-quality, high-volume, US IRA-compliant graphite anode material in the EV and renewable energy industries.

“Securing significant sources of quality raw materials from well-established companies and mine assets such as Syrah and its Balama graphite operation, ensures that Graphex can meet the growing needs of original-equipment manufacturers now and into the future. Whenever you can solve an industry-level problem, everyone wins, including the public,” he adds.

"Graphex is a well-respected midstream processor of graphite anode material for lithium-ion batteries.

"We look forward to working together as part of Graphex's supply chain to help meet the rapidly growing demand for graphite anode material in North America," says Syrah MD and CEO Shaun Verner.

Graphex Group plans to process the graphite acquired from the Balama graphite operation at the company's future North American facilities, potentially including its Warren, Michigan facility. The facility is expected to deliver up to 15 000 t/y of coated purified spherical graphite beginning in 2024, and additional facilities that are planned to be brought online as demand increases.

The agreement with Syrah adds to Graphex Group’s growing list of planned offtake relationships and potential partnerships, which also includes graphite assets in Canada and Namibia with Northern Graphite; in Australia with Reforme Group; in Brazil and the US with SouthStar Battery Metals; in Tanzania and Ukraine with Volt Resources; and in Namibia and Brazil with Gratomic.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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