The graphite company has signed a US$1.225-million purchase agreement for a site in Louisiana where it will produce battery anode material.
In an international move, Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) has signed a purchase agreement for an industrial site for its planned battery anode material (BAM) development in Vidalia, Louisiana.
The site, whose purchase rang up a US$1.225-million bill, encompasses 25 acres with a pre-existing 50,000-square-foot industrial building. Shaun Verner, Syrah’s managing director and CEO, said the purchase brings the company a step further into the BAM market.
“Consistent with our approach in Mozambique, Syrah is committed to environmental sustainability and community engagement through development and into operations,” Verner said.
Syrah’s main asset is its Balama graphite project in Mozambique. In 2013, the project broke records for being the world’s largest graphite deposit, with significant amounts of vanadium also located at the site.
A feasibility study conducted by Syrah in 2015 projects that Balama will have a 42-year mine life with an annual production rate of 356,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate for the first 10 years.
With Balama now up and running, Syrah is looking to create value-added graphite products at the BAM, including coated spherical graphite. Coated spherical graphite is used to produce anodes for lithium-ion batteries, which are increasingly in demand as electric vehicle interest rises.
In its latest quarterly report, released at the end of April, Syrah estimates it will produce its first purified spherical graphite at the BAM project by the end of 2018, with a feasibility study on commercial expansion potential lined up for the end of Q3 2018.
The report also predicts that global demand for natural flake graphite will hit 780,000 tonnes this year, a 10-percent increase year-on-year.
Syrah’s share price closed at AU$3.36 on Thursday (May 24). It is up 25.65 percent in the last year.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.