The production of high-value commodities for high-volume use downstream in the lithium-ion battery market directly aligns to Archer’s strategic focus in commercially exploiting a potential source of long-term revenue through vertical integration of the critical mineral value-chain.
Archer chief executive officer Dr Mohammad Choucair said: “This was a critical milestone that was achieved, and by doing so, we have overcome a high barrier to entry to the lithium ion battery market.
“We still have the question of yield, which determines product viability, however this is a matter of scale and process optimisation.
“Intrinsically, our material is of excellent quality, and suitable for processing into high-value anode materials.
“It is interesting that we were able to convert the 95% float product into a high-quality spherical graphite.
“This may allow us to segment the purification and material production processes into more efficient stages of development directly relevant to end-users and capitalise on opportunities to capture value-add abroad in the supply chain.
“This is an example of the pragmatic approach we are taking to developing Campoona.”
Archer will continue to target partnerships with lithium-ion battery manufacturers to scale and integrate Campoona graphite further downstream in the supply chain.
This will involve testing the spherical graphite materials produced in full-cell lithium-ion batteries for minimum performance requirements and market accepted benchmarks, and in establishing a basic measure of commercial viability related to the efficient scaling of post-concentrate processes with industry partners for potential off-take agreements.
Spherical graphite materials represent a high-value (US$3,400 to US$4,400 per tonne) materials entry point for high-volume anode componentry used specifically in the global lithium-ion battery market.
The global lithium-ion battery market is forecast to increase to US$130 billion by 2028 with growth concentrated in the Asia Pacific region.
Lithium-ion batteries consist of a group of batteries which operate with graphite in the anode.
Improvements in the anode are based on using graphite with high structural quality and purity, and an appropriate particle size and optimal morphology for effective lithium-ion intercalation chemistry.