William Johnson, the company’s managing director, recently met with a number of major lithium-ion battery manufacturers and graphite companies in China.
The purpose of the visit was to begin developing strategic relationships with potential offtake partners and other parties otherwise active in China’s graphite industry.
Discussions will continue
A number of Chinese parties approached expressed interest in Strike’s graphite/graphene deposit and its proposed development activities.
Strike will continue discussions with these and other parties with a view to forming binding commercial offtake and development agreements.
A Beijing-based consultant has been retained to facilitate and advance these discussions.
Research and development talks
The company is also in discussions with various universities and research institutions in Australia regarding research of the development of commercial applications for its graphite.
Such activities will be focused on areas with the best near-term commercial potential and where, if possible, Australian Government funding support can be secured.
High grade graphite resource
The Burke project, north of Cloncurry, contains an inferred resource estimate of 6.3 million tonnes at 16% total graphitic carbon (TGC) for 1 million tonnes of contained graphite.
Within the mineralisation envelope there is higher grade material of 2.3 million tonnes at 20.6% TGC for 464,000 tonnes of contained graphite.
These grades place Burke as one of the highest-grade deposits of graphite in the world held by an Australian listed company.
Ongoing test work
Flotation tests have confirmed that a concentrate of purity in excess of 95% and up to 99% TGC can be produced using a standard flotation process.
Strike is now preparing further samples of high purity graphite concentrate, to be used to determine its suitability for use in lithium-ion batteries.
The testing will include the preparation of battery electrodes from samples of Strike’s graphite and the construction of coin battery cells using these electrodes.
The cells will be repeatedly cycled with electrical charge/discharge and the performance independently assessed and compared with batteries made with baseline natural graphite material.
It is expected that the results of this work will be available by June 2018.