High-tech graphite producer Hazer Group has signed a binding co-operation agreement with Mineral Resources for design and construction of commercial scale synthetic graphite facilities.
The deal – which comes after signing a non-binding HoA with Mineral Resources in October – is a significant commercial milestone for Hazer, significantly accelerating the commercial deployment of its technology.
Mineral Resources – which has a market cap of $3.5 billion – will provide all development capital required for the project while Hazer will provide access to the existing Hazer IP portfolio, as well as technical assistance and support during the scale up.
Once commercial facilities are up and running, Hazer will receive revenue based royalties from the sale of high purity synthetic graphite calculated to achieve an agreed percentage of profits.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Hazer to partner with an organisation with the balance sheet and capital reserves necessary for a project of this magnitude, and the proven execution capability to accelerate the commercial deployment of our technology,” Hazer managing director Geoff Pocock said.
“Mineral Resources’ clear commitment to building exposure to the growing energy storage markets, as well as their support of Hazer in the past, makes them the ideal partner for us.”
Initial focus of the collaboration will be on a pilot scale facility capable of producing 1 tonne per annum of high quality graphite suitable for high value applications including lithium ion batteries.
The plant is expected to be up and running within 8 months.
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Mineral Resources will then design and construct a 1,000tpa commercial scale production facility. Production capacity at the plant will then be progressively ramped up using either modular expansion or designing a larger facility, with a commercial production target of 10,000tpa and beyond.
Hazer will also be able to continue pursuing current global hydrogen production opportunities, and grant licences to third parties to use the Hazer technology for hydrogen production purposes.
The news saw Hazer’s (ASX: HZR) share price gain as much as 9.5c, 20 per cent, to hit an intraday high of 57c. Hazer was last trading at 53c, up 11.6 per cent, at 1:15 AEDT.