In a statement last week, the company which is developing Epanko graphite mine in Mahenge district of Morogoro region, said it has lodged an international patent for the optimised purification process flowsheet generated from the recent pilot plant test work program.
The statement stated that results from the program are currently being incorporated into the previous feasibility study by GR Engineering Services Limited. The optimised flowsheet has demonstrated significant technical and commercial advantages, with on-going customer trials confirming the suitability of products for lithium-ion battery and advanced carbon product applications in Asia and Europe.
This milestone is the result of over five years of industry leading graphite processing test work and positions the company as a future leader in the manufacture of non-hydrofluoric acid treated battery graphite for the e-mobility and energy storage markets.
As automobile and battery manufacturers increasingly focus on ensuring responsibly and sustainably sourced battery mineral supply chains is attracting growing interest from potential customers and plans are being finalised to commence operations in 2019, the company noted.
Kibaran is engaging with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and AusIndustry in relation to its research and development programs. A report detailing eligible expenditures incurred on experimental activity during the year ended 30 June 2017 has been provided to the ATO.
The programs in question comprised cutting-edge ‘clean’ and ‘green’ graphite processing technology experimentation conducted in collaboration with industry leading expertise, including Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and led to a break-through non-hydrofluoric acid purification process over which a patent application was first lodged in 2017.
In a report launched by the Australian government mid this month, Kibaran in which the case is made by AusTrade and others for the public and private sectors to seize the opportunities emerging in new energy technologies and capitalise on Australia’s mining, processing and manufacturing expertise to capture an increased share of the international battery value chain.
The Australia Stock Exchange listed company further pointed out that it continues to embrace the objective and has been extending its research and development programs via collaboration with Australia’s Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre at Western Australia’s Curtin University.
Separately, Kibaran is progressing its more recent 2018 Overseas Advance Finding submission with AusIndustry in relation to advance approval of research and development activities through to 30 June 2020 and is also finalising its refund claim for eligible research and development expenses incurred for the year ended 30 June 2018.
“Bloomberg New Energy Finance1 recently reported that battery investment growth is exceeding previous expectations and the global energy-storage market is now projected to surge approximately 200 times its current size to reach over 900 Gigawatts by 2040, requiring approximately US$620 billion in new investment,” the released quoted.
This investment growth underpins industry forecasts that battery graphite demand will increase 700 percent by 2025 to over 800,000 tonnes per annum.