West Australian battery anode and graphene additives specialist Talga Resources Ltd (ASX:TLG) has received an important environmental approval for Stage 1 mining operations at its 100% owned Vittangi Graphite Project in northern Sweden.
The trial mine environmental permit is for the extraction of up to 25,000 tonnes of graphite ore and is valid for three years.
Managing Director, Mark Thompson, said the graphite ore is planned to be processed into concentrate at an off-site toll milling facility before refining at Talga’s operations into Talnode-C, the company’s flagship Li-ion battery anode product.
Mr Thompson said the fully coated high-performance anode powder has been developed and extensively tested over several years to provide a sustainable and cost competitive choice for battery manufacturers, especially in Europe.
“This is a significant milestone in our execution of developing the Vittangi project, and towards a truly localised European supply chain for lithium-ion batteries,” Mr Thompson said.
“Furthermore the approval comes at a time when our engagement with European car makers has increased, amid tougher emissions laws and stronger consumer sentiment for cleaner mobility.
We acknowledge and appreciate the trust developed between Talga and the Swedish stakeholders and authorities, in jointly taking a leadership role in the production of more sustainable battery materials for Europe.”
The permitting process included comprehensive test work and studies to minimise the environmental footprint of the operation along with community and stakeholder consultations.
Upon conclusion of Stage 1 operations the site will be rehabilitated using the successful measures from the Company’s 2015-2016 trial mining campaign at its nearby Nunasvaara South deposit.
Preparations for site works and contractor selection is underway, and operations will be planned to commence following further statutory compliance, and Stage 1 refinery permitting and financing activities are complete.
The environmental and statutory permits for Stage 2 of the project are planned to be submitted in March 2020, which will include an on-site plant at Vittangi with a processing capacity of 100,000 tonnes per annum of graphite ore.
Mr Thompson said Vittangi concentrate is destined to feed Talga’s planned downstream anode refinery in the coastal city of Luleå, 250km to the south, to produce 19,000 tonnes per annum of Talnode-C as per the design parameters detailed in Talga’s May 2019 pre-feasibility study.