Graphex Technologies, a processor of specialized natural graphite, has signed a letter of intent with Northern Graphite to aggregate Northern’s raw material supply capabilities with Graphex’s downstream processing expertise to deliver an end-to-end supply of graphite from mine to battery while on-shoring a critical mineral supply chain to North America.
Graphex and Northern intend to form a joint venture to produce coated spherical graphite anode material for the EV battery market. Graphex will license and/or contribute its technology, and Northern will provide a supply of graphite concentrate.
Graphex is developing a site in Warren, Michigan that’s designed to produce 15,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of battery anode material, and Northern is evaluating sites in Canada that could produce up to 200,000 tpa of anode material.
Graphite is the primary anode material in EV batteries. Typically, graphite ore is mined and concentrated to around 95% purity by companies such as Northern. The concentrate is then shaped, purified and coated to create anode material in a downstream process by operations like Graphex. Looking at the supply picture for natural graphite in North America, we see a significant shortfall in the availability of non-China-sourced graphite raw material, and a complete absence of downstream processing to transform that material into battery-grade anode material. The collaboration between Northern and Graphex seeks to solve both issues by providing OEMs and battery makers with a transparent, ESG-compliant supply of quality product.
Northern owns the only producing graphite mine in North America, which has a current output of 15,000 tpa of graphite mine concentrate. It also has three development projects with the resources to produce over 100,000 tpa by 2025 and 300,000 tpa by 2027. Graphex has a long history of processing mine concentrate, and currently produces 10,000 tpa of high-quality battery anode material.
“By combining the experience and expertise of Graphex in downstream processing and Northern in upstream raw material production, the collaboration will improve the anode supply picture for the industry significantly, beginning in North America,” said John DeMaio, CEO of Graphex Technologies.
“Collaborating with a company that has established technology and expertise will enable Northern to leapfrog the product development stage and substantially shorten our time to market,” said Northern CEO Hugues Jacquemin.
Source: Graphex Group