Quantum Graphite has acquired the complete set of flake graphite purification technology from The Sunlands Energy Company, providing what it says is a commercialisation path for products from its Uley flake graphite mineral deposits in South Australia, to advanced industrial manufacturers in North Asia and Europe.
The move forms part of the company’s commercial strategy to deliver superior natural flake products across all applications, from high technology industrial uses to thermal storage products and feed material for lithium-ion anode.
Quantum today confirmed it has negotiated the purchase of an option to acquire certain intellectual property rights for the purification of Uley flake graphite from Sunlands. The deal included the balance of Sunland’s flake purification technologies, which are based on entirely new processes and are independent to the prior thermal treatment process results revealed by Quantum last month.
The company’s previously-announced thermal treatment process, also developed by Sunlands, helped Quantum achieve flake purity of 99.99 per cent graphitic carbon. The impressive purity levels meet the needs of the thermal energy storage and lithium-ion battery markets.
Quantum is now confident it can commercially produce flake graphite from its Uley deposits at 99.99 per cent purity and free of any chemical processes or processes with adverse environmental effects.
In May last year, the company signed an offtake agreement with MRI Trading AG for all of the Uley 2 graphite production for five years. Quantum says the various treatment processes now deliver a path for it to deliver leading natural flake products across all applications to MRI Trading’s customers.
Management expects to release an update to its commercialisation presentation within the next fortnight that will include details of the new processes and the product profile– including the level of purity – associated with the latest technology rights it has acquired.
The company is also in the process of updating its 2019 definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Uley 2 project, which is south-west of Port Lincoln and holds a 6.3-million-tonne resource at 11.1 per cent total graphitic carbon for a total inventory of 672,000 tonnes of contained graphite.
The updated DFS will incorporate revised flake graphite prices to reflect the achievement of the 99.99 per cent purity level. As of last month, the market price across all Uley products at that purity level was about US$1540 (AU$2297) per tonne – a sizable increase from the US$919 (AU$1371) per tonne price assumed in the 2019 DFS. The numbers will again be revised to reflect the relevant market price when the updated DFS is released.
Quantum notes there is currently significant market demand for high-quality purified graphite across industrial and battery markets, strengthening its case to increase planned production to more than 100,000 tonnes per year.
Source: The West Australian