THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Renascor Resources (ASX: RNU) announced results of recent process design tests undertaken at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Siviour graphite project in South Australia.
Renascor Resources said the test were carried out on Siviour graphite concentrates using the caustic roasting purification process, producing results the company declared has provided support for the proposed spherical graphite operation, as described in Renascor’s Siviour Spherical Graphite Pre-Feasibility Study that was released in February.
Renascor explained that Spherical Graphite must generally be purified to at least 99.95 per cent total carbon (TC) to be used in lithium-ion battery anodes.
Renascor’s previous Spherical Graphite purification programs included tests involving both caustic roasting, as well as hydrofluoric acid purification.
In both cases, Renascor produced +99.95 per cent TC, battery-grade anode material from Siviour graphite concentrates.
For the Spherical PFS, Renascor adopted a caustic roasting technique that combined Siviour graphite concentrates with a caustic solution and roasted them at low temperature before being leached with hydrochloric acid.
The tests produced +99.95 per cent TC, battery-grade anode material, with an average grade of 99.965 per cent TC.
The company considers the results of additional caustic roast test programs important for its strategy to produce purified Spherical Graphite by confirming that Siviour graphite concentrates are amenable to caustic roast purification to achieve +99.95 per cent TC, battery-grade graphite.
The recent tests also validated process design parameters adopted in the Spherical PFS and suggest potential operational costs savings through reduced roasting time and reagent consumption.
The recent test work also demonstrates that these results can be achieved through the more environmentally friendly caustic roasting process.
“The Spherical PFS demonstrated strong potential for Renascor to produce competitively-priced, purified spherical graphite for the growing market for lithium-ion battery anodes,” Renascor Resources managing director David Christensen said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“The results today offer further confirmation that Siviour can achieve these competitive margins through the use of a more environmentally friendly caustic roasting purification process, which avoids the use of hydrofluoric acid.
“With nearly all natural flake spherical graphite used in lithium-ion batteries currently sourced from Chinese production facilities using hydrofluoric acid, these results demonstrate Siviour’s potential to offer strategic diversification of supply in a manner that is both cost-competitive and environmentally sensible.”