Kibaran is set to build its pilot plant for producing battery-grade graphite following outstanding results of feasibility study it conducted on downstream processing of graphite from its Epanko Graphite Project in Tanzania.
The study found that production of battery-grade graphite using Kibaran’s proprietary purification technology would be low-cost and environmentally friendly.
The feasibility study was based on production of 20,000 tonnes per year of spherical graphite, four times the rate originally planned. The decision to increase the production rate in the study was based on what Kibaran described as “strong customer feedback” on itseco-friendly processing route and the anticipated 300-400 per cent growth in demand from the battery sector from 2020.
In light of these findings, Kibaran has decided to establish a pilot plant in Germany which will be expanded to commercial scale production for the supply of premium battery graphite to customers in Europe and Asia.
The study also found that the initial investment would be US$66m (A$87.9m), pre-tax net present value (NPV) 10 of US$145m, internal rate of return (IRR) of 34.3 per cent and the annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) would be US$30.5m (A$42m).
Kibaran managing director Andrew Spinks said: “The results of the feasibility study have exceeded our expectations and I thank GR Engineering and ProGraphite for their dedication and commitment to complete this program over the course of 2017. Kibaran is now positioned to commercialise its battery graphite processing plans, commencing with a downstream processing pilot plant early next year and I look forward to updating our shareholders as we progress with this exciting addition to our graphite business.”