Leading Edge Materials Corp (CVE:LEM, OTCQB:LEMIF) outlined current work planned at its Woxna graphite project in Sweden ahead of building a key battery graphite demonstration plant there.
The mine is currently on a 'production ready' status and has an operating licence out until 2041.
LEM noted that discussions with prospective European customers for its graphite have confirmed that large sample volumes and commercial scale processes are required beforehand.
The firm hired engineer Hatch to carry out an internal conceptual study to assess the suitability of the Woxna site.
Among the recommendations were further lab scale testing to define how furnace operating parameters influence product quality.
This will allow for a trade-off study that will inform the design of the demonstration plant, the firm said.
Both purification and spheronisation test work is now underway and results will allow tight specifications to be shared with equipment manufacturers when quoting for the proposed demonstration plant.
"The recommendations of the internal study take advantage of a fully built graphite mine," said Blair Way, president and chief executive at Leading Edge.
"Subject to technical results and financing, this work will place Woxna on a clear path to providing the battery industry with the volume of anode material needed for testing, qualification and establishment off-take agreements.
"While laboratory scale test work is critical to establish process boundaries, it is only through a Demonstration Plant that both process and product can be meaningfully assessed.
"We are now progressing the laboratory scale test work so that Woxna is positioned to supply substantial quantities of lithium-ion battery anode material to potential customers in 2019."
Work planned and underway for the Woxna graphite project includes:
- Additional spheronising test program. Results are expected during Q3 2018;
- Thermal purification test program. Results anticipated Q3 2018;
- Complete an internal trade-off study to direct the design of a Battery Graphite Demonstration Plant. Study recommendations are expected late Q3 2018;
- Commence detailed design and equipment procurement for demonstration plant. Expected Q4 2018;
- Review and confirm environmental compliance of proposed demonstration plant installation at the Woxna site. Targeted Q4 2018.
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