In late September, Kibaran Resources announced production of battery-grade natural graphite through a new process at its Epanko project in Tanzania. Kibaran claims that the process eliminates the use of hydrofluoric acid and uses only simple acids that are readily available in Tanzania.
Roskill view: China is currently the only commercial producer of battery-grade spherical graphite from natural flake graphite. Production typically uses hydrofluoric acid—a process that has come under increasing scrutiny as graphite is increasingly used in lithium-ion batteries for emerging ‘green’ technologies including electric vehicles. Kibaran completed an updated bankable feasibility study for its Epanko project in June 2017. The study plans 60ktpy of production over 18 years with potential to produce a 99% C concentrate from <150 micron flake to supply the battery anode market. It is carrying out a separate feasibility study for the production of spherical graphite which is planned for completion in Q4 2017.
Exports of Chinese spherical graphite have averaged US$3,000/t since early 2017. The quantity of Chinese exports rose by 19% in July to 4,062t but fell again in August by 20% to 3,264t.
Roskill’s Natural & Synthetic Graphite: Global Industry, Markets & Outlook report was published in May 2017. Click here to download the brochure or sample pages or access further information. To discuss the graphite market with Roskill, please contact us.