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Archer Materials produces high-value coated spherical graphite for lithium-ion batteries

The CSG material produced from the Eyre Peninsula Graphite Project has been successfully tested in lithium-ion battery prototypes.

Archer Materials Ltd - Archer Materials produces high-value coated spherical graphite for lithium-ion batteries
Scanning electron microscope images of a CSG sample from Archer’s graphite

Archer Materials Ltd (ASX:AXE) has used natural flake graphite from the Eyre Peninsula Graphite Project (EPGP) in South Australia to produce high-value coated spherical graphite (CSG).

CSG material has been successfully tested in lithium-ion battery prototypes with enhanced performance in line with industry benchmarks for CSG anodes.

This work enables Archer to pursue downstream partnership and development opportunities with lithium-ion battery manufacturers, graphite processing options and high-value graphene and graphitic materials.

CSG a high-value graphite form

CSG is one of the highest value-added processed forms of flake graphite concentrate used in the lithium-ion battery industry.

Archer CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair said: “Graphite is a mineral categorised by many world economies as ‘critical’ and important to their long-term economic growth and supply-chain security.

“We have demonstrated high-value graphite materials can be developed from the EPGP and are relevant to the growing global markets serviced by lithium-ion batteries, including electric vehicles and portable electronics.”

Coating process

A commercially available amorphous carbon material was used to coat Archer’s spherical graphite from the EPGP by applying industry-accepted methods.

This CSG was performance tested in lithium-ion battery coin cells in half-cell configuration with only the performance of the CSG in the anode tested.

CSG materials were characterised using spectroscopy, microscopy and diffraction methods, which confirmed the coating process was successful.

Performance in line with benchmarks

The anode performance was in-line with industry benchmarks for CSG materials, including for reversible capacities and few-cycle capacity retention.

CSG could potentially be more conducive to process efficiencies compared to spherical graphite alone, as the reversible discharge capacities could be achieved with a reduction in electrode loadings (ie mass to volume/area).

Pursuing commercial opportunities

Archer will now use the outcomes of this testing to pursue commercial opportunities for end-use integration in the lithium-ion battery supply chain with potential EPGP co-development partners.

This process is aimed at ensuring that the company can successfully add value to the project and that the project can be developed to return maximum benefit to shareholders and the community.

Graphite is listed as a critical mineral by Australia, the US, EU and Japan.

Not currently produced in Australia

Australia’s demonstrated economic resource is about 7,140 kilotonnes, however, graphite is not currently produced in Australia.

Global production of graphite is estimated at 1,200 kilotonnes with a global market value of over US$1 billion.

Choucair added: “As a materials technology company, we believe securing critical mineral assets in Australia, like our 100%-owned EPGP graphite resource, is a good economic decision, and through successful development could return maximum benefit to shareholders and the community.”

Shares are up more than 6% to 16.5 cents, up from 13 cents on March 23.

Quick facts: Archer Materials Ltd

Price: 0.615 AUD

ASX:AXE
Market: ASX
Market Cap: $131.21 m
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