Battery anode and graphene additives provider Talga Resources Ltd (ASX: TLG) has successfully completed a 60 tonne pilot-scale processing campaign producing graphite concentrate – the feedstock for Talga’s planned European battery anode refinery and ongoing customer development programmes.
Managing Director, Mark Thompson, said the pilot processing programme employed continuous test conditions for numerous key processing stages including crushing, grinding, flotation and concentration using advanced, industrial scale equipment at a Scandinavian toll milling and testing facility.
He said the programme achieved the company’s targeted range of operational and product performance, in line with PFS assumptions and demonstrated suitability of the process flowsheet for planned commercial production.
This successful increase in processing scale is a positive milestone in progressing our plans for an integrated graphite mine and anode refinery in Sweden,” Mr Thompson said.
“The pilot scale programme confirmed some key equipment requirements and production parameters, further improving our in-house processing knowledge and capability for future operations.”
Mr Thompson said that in addition to further validating the first step of Talga’s processing flowsheet for its battery anode production, the pilot programme generated information and samples for final detailed engineering design for ongoing DFS work and customer programs.
He said the process development and refinements of pilot-scale testing highlight the effectiveness of Talga’s preferred production process which uses large-scale European developed quality industrial equipment.
Talga’s patent pending purification processes will be used in the downstream refining of the Vittangi graphite concentrate into the company’s Talnode-C anode product for use by Lithium-ion battery makers.
Graphite anode is an advanced non-metal product that requires extensive physical validation by cell or battery manufacturers at increasing volumes prior to commercialisation. This is unlike most battery metals (such as lithium, copper or cobalt) that can be sold on a purity basis with little testing.
The addition of several automotive electric vehicle (EV) customers to Talga’s commercial register has driven the requirement to provide more advanced samples for testing, increased industry quality standards (high ISO standards and Six Sigma type quality operations) and most importantly, the need for samples to be sourced from larger production scale equipment.
The company is currently investing in upscaled equipment and other components of the Talnode-C production supply chain at its European operations to meet ongoing customer qualification programs. Talga is also reviewing its options to more rapidly service the particular demands of automotive customers.