Archer Exploration Ltd (ASX:AXE) has successfully assembled and tested several lithium-ion battery configurations, incorporating spherical graphite derived from its Campoona Graphite Project in South Australia.
The testing confirmed that Campoona graphite is suitable for next-stage optimisation in lithium-ion battery manufacturing processes with potential offtake partners.
Archer is now able to request a 12-month extension for the submission of a Program for Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) for the Campoona project, to allow the company to pursue downstream partnership and development opportunities.
Spherical graphite materials are a high value (US$3,400 to US$4,400 per tonne) materials entry point for the Li-ion battery market.
Archer chief executive officer Mohammad Choucair said: “Our results indicate that Archer can produce a spherical graphite product which would work in lithium-ion batteries.
“There is no one industry standard battery for lithium ion batteries – different manufacturers use different chemistries.
“We now have the required information that potential partners with the required resources downstream need to perform the optimisation and therefore integrate Campoona graphite in their batteries.”
Li-ion battery assembly and testing
Batteries in full-cell and half-cell configuarations that are functional and commercially scalable were prepared and tested at the University of New South Wales.
Archer’s Campoona graphite materials were used at the anode, with commercially equivalent cathode materials and chemistries used that are commonly found in consumer electronics and electric vehicles.
The cathode materials used to construct the full cells were lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and lithium-cobalt oxide (LCO).
The batteries were prepared as coin-cells with half-cell configurations also prepared for simple testing.
Archer plans to investigate high value added graphite product processes and other market opportunities to ensure that the company can successfully add value to Campoona.
The company has drafted a request to a further 12-month extension to submit a proposed PEPR to the South Australian Government Department of Energy and Mining.
An extension to December 4, 2020 will allow Archer to pursue downstream partnership and development opportunities with lithium-ion battery manufacturers and end-users prior to the completion of a PEPR.