Volt started the second production campaign of graphite concentrate at its Zavalievsky Graphite (ZG) mine in Ukraine.
Volt Resources owns a 70% stake in ZG, a graphite producer that has been operational since 1934. Over time, ZG’s graphite concentrate production capacity declined from 30ktpy in the 1980s to an average of 7.3ktpy between 2017 and 2021. After periods of operational disruptions in 2022, Volt successfully restarted mine operations in April 2023 and within just one month, produced 1,015t of graphite. This resulted in ZG generating a US$1.08M product revenue which has enabled Volt to enter a second production campaign with a planned production of 1kt of graphite and focus on ramping up production.
Driven by natural graphite demand in lithium-ion batteries and its intention to create a fully integrated supply chain, Volt has been investing in the purification of its natural graphite concentrate for battery grade (99.95% purity). In October 2022, the company entered a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the supply of graphite with 24M Technologies. Under JDA requirements, both parties will collaborate on the qualification of Volt’s battery active anode material (AAM) material and cathode conductive additive products for their use in lithium-ion batteries.
Additionally, ZG has secured a €600k (US$654k) grant through the European Union’s Horizon Research and Innovation funding programme for a graphite anode development project, called GR4FITE3. The project will be developed by an international consortium of ten partners from six countries including Ukraine, Poland, Italy, Spain, and France. The objective of this project is to produce coated spherical purified graphite (CSPG) for battery makers in North America and Europe.
Volt is in the process of building a battery AAM plant planned to be located at its ZG mine site with a nameplate capacity of 7.5ktpy CSPG. The company expects its plant’s Feasibility Study (FS) to be complete by September 2023 and production to commence by 2026. With the focus on graphite production ramp-up at its Zavalievsky mine and advancement of its Bunyu project in Tanzania. Volt may produce sufficient feedstock for its AAM plant, subsequently contributing to Europe’s investments in anode downstream processing capacity.
Source: project blue