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20/07/2024
Mining News

International Graphite Ltd advances graphite processing in Western Australia with key developments at Springdale and Collie

International Graphite Ltd is making significant strides in advancing its graphite processing operations in Western Australia. The company is currently conducting a 10-hole diamond drilling program at its 100%-owned Springdale Graphite Project, aimed at gathering critical data for geotechnical studies that are essential for mine planning, waste characterization and resource classification.

The drilling will also provide crucial samples for further metallurgical testing, which will be used to define process design criteria for the upcoming graphite concentrator. CEO Andrew Worland highlighted the growing global demand for graphite driven by the expansion of lithium-ion battery manufacturing and industrial uses, exacerbated by geopolitical factors. He emphasized that mines like Springdale are pivotal in providing reliable supply chain solutions for these expanding industries.

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Battery anode processing tests in progress

IG6 is also advancing battery anode processing tests on graphite concentrates from Springdale. This comprehensive testing program is taking place at specialized facilities overseas and includes several key processes:

  • Optimization of spheroidization.
  • Evaluation of leach purification options.
  • Production of purified and unpurified spherical graphite samples for third-party testing and coating options.
  • Further electrochemical studies to refine the end product.

Environmental assessments and conservation

Flora and fauna surveys conducted at Springdale in 2022 and 2023 indicate minimal impact on the natural ecosystem from mining activities. Ongoing studies are focusing on hydrological assessments and tailings storage to support environmental approvals and ensure sustainable mining practices.

Progress at Collie’s downstream processing operations

At the company’s downstream processing hub in Collie, various graphite flake products have been successfully produced using a micronizing qualification plant that was commissioned earlier this year. These products meet diverse technical specifications suitable for advanced battery anode materials and other industrial applications. IG6 plans to provide these product samples to potential customers for further qualification and acceptance assessments.

Approaching final investment decision

International Graphite is on track to make a final investment decision for the 4,000 tonnes per annum commercial-scale micronizing facility in Collie by the third quarter. This facility is poised to become Australia’s first purpose-built graphite processing plant, a significant step towards increasing the nation’s sovereign supply of critical battery materials.

This development aligns with substantial funding support, including $6.5 million from the Western Australian Government and $4.7 million from the Australian Federal Government, underscoring the strategic importance of this project for both regional and national interests.

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