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Extremely low level of impurities open door to advanced battery and nuclear applications

6 Jul , 2022

Evolution Energy Minerals (“Evolution” or the “Company”) (ASX: EV1, FSE: P77) is pleased to report on initial results from its commercial verification program to assess the suitability of the fines fraction of graphite from the Company’s Chilalo Graphite Project for advanced battery applications.

Chilalo is planned to primarily produce coarse flake graphite products suitable for expandable graphite and graphite foil applications, with 64% of the flakes reporting to the coarse fraction (+100, +80, +50, +32 mesh). Evolution has entered into a binding offtake agreement with YXGC for the sale of 30,000tpa of coarse flake graphite for a minimum of three years1.

The fines fraction (-100 mesh) represents 36% of the Chilalo output and is the subject of this commercial verification program. Evolution is assessing the potential for fines material from Chilalo to be used in coated battery anodes for lithium-ion batteries. To be suitable for battery usage (ie. battery grade), graphite needs to be purified to at least 99.95% C and contain maximum levels of certain impurities.

The first stage of testwork in the US has confirmed that the levels of Boron (B) and Molybdenum (Mo) remaining in the Chilalo fines concentrate (even prior to purification) are extremely low compared to industry standards. Both of these elements are relatively difficult to remove from concentrates and impact performance, so very low levels are expected to be viewed extremely positively by battery manufacturers. It also opens up a pathway to produce a high-purity, low-Boron product that is suitable for the nuclear industry.

The next stage in the testwork process is to assess the purification, milling and shaping and electrochemical properties of the fines product. In consultation with the Company’s US technology partner, Evolution intends to adopt a process whereby the fines material is purified first before being milled and shaped (the opposite of conventional battery anode processing).

Phil Hoskins, Managing Director of Evolution Energy Minerals, commented, “It is very pleasing that the exceptionally low Molybdenum and Boron content of Chilalo graphite opens two pathways for use of our graphite in value-added markets: a range of premium performance batteries, where extremely low concentrations of molybdenum are a prerequisite, and nuclear-grade graphite, which requires naturally low levels of boron.

“Our US technology partner will aim to use advanced technologies to build on this foundation, to size, shape, coat, and otherwise process our premium-quality flake graphite and turn them into battery and nuclear industry-ready graphite commanding premium prices.”


1ASX Announcement 9 May 2022 – Binding offtake agreement for Chilalo coarse flake graphite.

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