Hazer Group Ltd (ASX:HZR) has confirmed that the Mineral Resources Ltd (ASX:MIN) owned Paddle Tube Reactor (PTR) Pilot Plant has completed commissioning and successfully produced high-quality graphite.
In December 2017, Hazer Group and Mineral Resources entered into a binding co-operation agreement to develop a commercial-scale synthetic graphite production facility based on the Hazer Process.
Graphite purity of >95% achieved in initial pilot plant trial runs
Under the agreement, a three-stage development program is envisaged.
Stage 1 comprises the development of a pilot-scale facility capable of producing 1 tonne per annum (tpa) of high-quality graphite; completion of construction of this facility was achieved in March 2019.
Subsequent to March, commissioning has been successfully completed and initial production runs under the pilot plant test program have been undertaken.
High-quality graphite has been produced during these initial runs, with graphite product purity of >95% TGC (total graphitic carbon) achieved.
Mineral Resources will now undertake a detailed pilot plant test program to test the capability of the paddle tube reactor design and derive the engineering and performance data needed to establish the design and performance parameters of the commercial-scale plant envisaged in Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the agreement.
Hazer CEO Geoff Ward said: “I congratulate the team at Mineral Resources on this excellent achievement. I would also like to thank the Hazer technical and operations team for the support they have provided to Mineral Resources to reach this milestone.
“I congratulate everybody on the excellent results; the graphite purity achieved is the highest we have recorded to date by the Hazer Process.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Mineral Resources to take our agreement forward into Stage 2 and Stage 3 following completion of their test program.”
Engineering partner selected for commercial demonstration plant
Hazer has selected Primero Group Ltd (ASX PGX) as the preferred engineering contractor for the proposed Hazer Commercial Demonstration Plant (CDP).
The company has awarded Primero a contract for an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) phase scope for work.
Under this agreement, Primero will undertake initial detailed design activities necessary to allow project to progress to full EPC contracting and procurement.
This contract will commence in late July and is expected to take about 4 months.
Primero has a strong track record of delivering complex, small scale projects for leading power, energy and infrastructure clients.
Ward said: “We are delighted to move forward into the engineering phase of the Hazer CDP with Primero. We believe Primero are an excellent fit for the capabilities we need to deliver the CDP.
“I thank Primero for providing Hazer with a flexible, collaborative proposal to deliver this exciting project.
“I look forward to the Hazer and Primero teams working closely together to deliver a successful project.”
Commissioning targeted for end 2020
The ECI phase is expected to be completed around November 2019 and will provide Hazer the opportunity to continue into award of an Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contract.
Completion of construction and commencement of commissioning for the Hazer CDP remains targeted for end 2020 as previously advised.