DGAP-News: EcoGraf Limited / Key word(s): Quarterly / Interim Statement
EcoGraf Limited: QUARTERLY ACTIVITIES REPORT
2021-07-30 / 12:45
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
QUARTERLY ACTIVITIES REPORT
Positive Outcomes Achieved Across Key Technical and Commercial Programs for Development of Australian Battery Anode
EcoGraf Limited ("EcoGraf" or "the Company") (ASX: EGR) is pleased to release its activities and cash flow report for
the three months ended 30 June 2021.
- EcoGraf(TM) Battery Anode Material Business
- USUSD35m loan for Australian facility expansion phase
- Mechanical shaping program with leading equipment manufacturer using commercial scale plant confirms potential for
significantly improved yields in excess of 60%
- Pre-construction program progressing with GR Engineering for equipment selection, procurement, site infrastructure,
site services, permitting and approvals
- Locked cycle testing for pre-construction program successfully completed by leading Australian research organisation
to confirm effectiveness of EcoGraf(TM) purification process for flow analysis and final equipment design
- Appointment of key executives for Project Management and Product Development
- Additional EU trade and investment interest for location of proposed European facility
- EcoGraf(TM) Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Business
- Testing with Korean recycler SungEel Hitech to recover battery anode material achieves purity of 99.98%, in line with
major lithium-ion battery manufacturer specifications
- GR Engineering designs for modular recycling pilot plant near completion
- EcoGraf(TM) Natural Flake Graphite Business
- New Tanzanian President implementing reforms to encourage mining investment
- Positive industry workshop held with Government aimed at unlocking obstacles to new mine development
- Epanko debt financing structure developed with KfW IPEX-Bank and presented to Tanzanian Government and private sector
financial institutions, with discussions continuing to agree on a bankable debt financing structure to enable the
parties to progress their respective due diligence and credit approval processes
- Listing on US OTCQX market completed on 14 May 2021
- Inclusion in MSCI Global Micro Cap Indexes from close of trading on 27 May 2021
- Cash at bank at end of quarter of USD52.6 million
EcoGraf is building a diversified battery anode material business to produce high purity graphite products for the
lithium-ion battery and advanced manufacturing markets. Over USUSD30 million has been invested to date to create two
highly attractive, development ready graphite businesses.
The first new state-of-the-art EcoGraf processing facility in Western Australia will manufacture spherical graphite
products for export to Asia, Europe and North America using a superior, environmentally responsible HFfree purification
technology to provide customers with sustainably produced high performance battery anode material. Subsequently, the
battery graphite production base will be expanded to include additional processing facilities in Europe and North
America to support the global transition to clean, renewable energy in the coming decade and the rapid growth in
In addition, the Company's breakthrough recovery of carbon anode material from recycled batteries using its EcoGraf(TM)
process will enable the recycling industry to reduce battery waste and use recycled carbon anode material to improve
battery lifecycle efficiency.
To complement these battery graphite operations, the Company is also advancing the TanzGraphite natural flake graphite
business, with development of the Epanko Graphite Project, which will supply additional feedstock for the battery anode
material facilities and provide customers with a long term supply of high quality graphite products for industrial
applications such as refractories, recarburisers and lubricants.
QUARTERLY ACTIVITY UPDATE
ECOGRAF(TM) BATTERY ANODE MATERIAL BUSINESS
The Company's first EcoGraf(TM) Battery Anode Material Facility will be located in the Kwinana-Rockingham Strategic
Industrial Zone near the capital city of Perth in Western Australia and will be the first of its kind to be constructed
outside of China, providing a new supply of sustainably produced, high quality and cost competitive purified spherical
graphite for the lithium-ion battery market.
This new state-of-the-art development has received endorsement from both Federal and State Governments through the
award of Major Project Status (refer ASX announcement Major Project Status Approved by Australian Government 5 March
2021) and Lead Agency status from the Western Australian Government.
EcoGraf is actively working with the Australian Critical Minerals Facilitation Office, the Major Projects Facilitation
Agency, Austrade, Export Finance Australia and the Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and
Innovation to advance its new facility and enhance Australia's position in the global lithium-ion battery industry.
Australian Facility Development Funding
The initial construction timeframe for the 5,000tpa commercial scale facility is 11 months, followed by commissioning
and final product qualification. The Company then plans to undertake a 12-month expansion program to achieve a
production level of 20,000tpa.
EcoGraf will fund the initial phase of the development using its existing cash reserves from the successful AUSD54.6
million institutional placement completed in February 2021, with the expansion phase to be financed through a
combination of cash reserves and loan funding.
Export Finance Australia (the Australian Government's export credit agency) has undertaken assessment on the planned
development, including an evaluation of feasibility and engineering studies, development reports, market studies,
technical reviews and financial models. As a result, EcoGraf has received a non-binding letter of support from Export
Finance Australia to secure a USUSD35 million loan facility for the planned expansion, with any final commitment of
finance by Export Finance Australia being subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions customary for a loan of
This is an important milestone in the Company's development plans for the new EcoGraf(TM) Battery Anode Material
Facility, which will be the first of its type globally, providing battery and electric vehicle manufacturers with
sustainably produced, high performance battery anode material for lithium-ion batteries and EcoGraf is pleased to be
actively supporting Australia's critical minerals processing strategy for the transition to clean energy.
Financial modelling undertaken with external consultants has confirmed that the new Australian facility is able to
generate attractive economic returns to support the proposed debt financing, with a pre-tax project NPV of USUSD642
million, internal rate of return of 42.4% and annual EBITDA of USUSD35 million (refer ASX announcement Investor
Presentation and Business Update 12 February 2021).
GR Engineering has been coordinating a range of pre-construction early works that includes final process testing of
mechanical shaping and purification functions for detailed engineering design works, permitting and approvals for the
Kwinana-Rockingham site and power, gas and water site services. The works program is proceeding on schedule with key
value enhancements identified in product yields, reagent usage rates and water recycling.
A 20% improvement in expected product yields has been demonstrated as part of an international mechanical shaping
program conducted in collaboration with a leading equipment manufacturer. A standard mechanical shaping plant is shown
The program was completed using a commercial scale plant and confirmed the opportunity for the new facility to produce
three core product ranges to maximise overall yield:
- 15-16µm battery anode material (SpG 16);
- ultrafine SuperBAM (battery anode material) products for high performance battery applications requiring improved
energy density characteristics, with a typical price premium of 20-25% over SpG 16; and
- fines bi-products for use in industrial and alkaline battery applications.
The program demonstrated that by improving the design of the mechanical shaping plant, an overall product yield in
excess of 60% can be achieved, compared to previously reported yields of up to 50% (refer ASX announcement Successful
Completion of Feedstock Optimisation 16 March 2020). Increased product yields enhance operational efficiency and
A locked-cycle testing program was also successfully undertaken at pilot plant scale in collaboration with a leading
Australian research organisation in May 2021. Six cycles were completed, processing spherical graphite through the
multi-stage EcoGraf(TM) HFfree purification flowsheet to simulate operational conditions and obtain final data to
complete detailed engineering for construction of the new Western Australian facility. Excellent results were obtained
from filtrate recycling, supporting reduced feed water requirements while ensuring purity levels meet customer
The removal of impurities was better than anticipated with a 99.97% carbon product outcome and the important shape and
physical properties of the battery anode material were preserved during the process.
Mr Ryan Kriedemann, Manager - Engineering at GR Engineering commented "The results of the locked-cycle testing were
very encouraging and confirmed that the EcoGraf(TM) HFfree process effectively removes impurities from flake graphite
feedstock to deliver high purity battery anode material. Mass balance analysis data was also very good and so we'll
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July 30, 2021 06:45 ET (10:45 GMT)