Notably, the results from the test work are comparable to the performance of the highest quality synthetic graphite utilised in battery applications – a sector that Hexagon is targeting.
The results exceeded benchmark reversible capacity levels of 350 mAh/g, attaining up to 363.1 mAh/g –typical of synthetic graphite and advanced grades of natural crystalline spheroidised flake graphite.
Hexagon CR2106 lithium ion cells
Hexagon managing director Mike Rosenstreich said: “These results indicate that we have high-quality crystalline material suitable for lithium ion batteries, indeed, capable of surpassing the attributes of the highest quality synthetic graphites, which still make up 50 to 70% of the anode material in lithium ion batteries.
“This is very significant for Hexagon because a core component of our downstream business strategy is the substitution of synthetic graphite, not only in battery anode and cathode conductivity enhancer materials but also in traditional industrial applications – and we are definitely on track.”
Earlier this week, Hexagon started the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the McIntosh flake graphite project along with multi-billion dollar joint venture partner Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN).
The DFS follows Hexagon shareholder approval of the joint venture which enables MIN to earn a 51% share of the McIntosh Project by managing and effectively funding all of the development costs of the project to commercial production.
Positive pre-feasibility outcome - already superseded by recent test results!
MIN, as joint venture manager, has approved an initial budget to allow for a comprehensive drilling program of about 12,000 metres to commence in early August 2018 as the first on-ground work for the DFS.
Key near-term objectives of the joint venture include upgrading the existing resource of 21.3 million tonnes grading 4.5% TGC (total graphitic content).