Mining and Heavy Industries

CSIRO to test graphite’s potential for lithium ion market

Graphite. Photo: Archer

Newly refined graphite samples from ASX-listed Archer Exploration’s Campoona project in South Australia, will be sent to the CSIRO for a new round of testing for their suitability to meed the emerging global market for lithium ion batteries.

Archer announced in May that testing of its Campoona ultra-pure graphite in Germany found it compared very favourably against commercially available, high purity synthetic graphite for use in current-generation lithium ion batteries.

Archer says synthetic graphite is used in around 32% of all lithium ion batteries, and that percentage is forecast to rise in coming years.

“CSIRO suggested that further improvements in charge capacity could result if Campoona graphite was more finely and uniformly sized,” the company told the market.

“A sample of Campoona concentrate was subsequently sent to Netzsch in Germany for micronising and classification and it is this returned sample that is currently being purified before being sent later this month to the CSIRO for additional testing.”

Archer believes further positive findings by the CSIRO would greatly enhance the company’s ability to attract suitable buyers for its high grade graphite.

Campoona is on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

Archer has also sent Campoona graphite samples to potential overseas partners for in-house testing. “Additional potential offtake customers had also been identified and were being contacted, as a result of Archer appointing agents to secure suitable offtake customers able to underpin Campoona’s development,” the company explained.

At the South Australian site, physical surveying of the Mineral Claim (over the Campoona Shaft graphite deposit) and two Miscellaneous Purpose Licenses – MPL Sugarloaf Processing Facility and MPL Water – has been completed, the company said on August 11. The survey work by Archer is required under mine development regulations.

Archer said feedback from the SA Government was being received on the Company’s draft Mining Lease Proposal for Campoona. Archer expects the final form Mining Lease Application to be lodged early in September.

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