Epanko Graphite’s EcoGraf signs agreement with South Korean firm

13Oct 2020
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Epanko Graphite’s EcoGraf signs agreement with South Korean firm

ECOGRAF Limited which owns Epanko Graphite Mine in Mahenge District of Morogoro Region has signed a collaboration agreement with a leading South Korean lithium-ion batteries recycling giant, SunEel Hitech Company Limited.

EcoGraf Managing Director, Andrew Spinks.

In a statement, EcoGraf Managing Director, Andrew Spinks said the said the agreement will enable SunEel evaluate its proprietary purification process to recover and re-use high-purity battery carbon anode material from production scrap and black mass from lithium-ion battery materials produced at their South Korean plant.

Spinks said SungEel is one of the major lithium-ion battery recycling companies and is well connected to the South Korean lithium-ion battery supply chain, which includes both electric vehicle and battery manufacturers.

SungEel currently process24,000 tonnes of lithium-ion  battery  materials per year, with plans to   increase to 56,000 tonnes  per  year, through their South Korean hydrometallurgical plant to recover cathode metals. The processed material contains approximately 22 percent carbon anode material.

“The agreement sets out as tagged recycling program to recover the carbon anode and re-use the material in industrial applications, including lithium-ion battery market. If initial results are positive, SungEel will use their South Korean connections to assist in securing a strategic supply chain partner to support and participate in the product development and engineering phase to establish a carbon anode recycling facility,” the company’s statement added.

EcoGraf is pleased to support SungEel to achieve greater battery recycling by recovering the carbon anode materials. The company expects to tailor and customise the EcoGraf TM flow-sheet to minimise impurities remaining after their hydrometallurgical process, Spinks stated in his statement while adding that closing the carbon loop in order to achieve greater battery recycling, has the potential to contribute to lowering both the battery unit cost and carbon emissions for the EV market.

“Battery recycling is gaining greater importance with leading EV and lithium-ion battery manufacturers,” the EcoGraf chief executive noted.

EcoGraf is building a vertically integrated business to produce high purity graphite for the lithium-ion battery market. The  new  state-of-the-art  processing  facility  in  Western  Australia  will  manufacture  spherical graphite   products   for   export   to   Asia,   Europe   and   North   America   using   a   superior, environmentally  responsible  purification  technology  to  provide  customers  with  sustainably produced, high performance battery anode graphite.

In time the battery graphite production base will be expanded to include additional facilities in Europe and North America to support the global transition to clean, renewable energy in the coming decade.

To complement the battery graphite operations, EcoGraf is also developing the TanzGraphite natural  flake  graphite  business,  commencing  with  the  Epanko  Graphite  Project,  which  will supply  additional  feedstock  for  the  spherical  graphite  processing  facilities  and  provide customers with a long term supply of high quality graphite products for industrial applications such as refractories, recarburisers and lubricants.

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