Natural Anode Material
MRC is working on a range of different opportunities to capture more of the value chain by becoming a diversified, vertically integrated carbon business producing higher-value products from Skaland and Munglinup concentrates.
The most exciting product the Company is developing is a natural Battery Anode Material using a proprietary environmentally sustainable purification technique.
The current methods for producing high purity graphite from naturally-occurring deposits can involve using environmentally harmful fluoride-based substances to remove impurities. These come with high costs for processing and stringent safety and environmental compliance regulations.
Precursor and active battery material suppliers are under increasing pressure to lower the carbon footprint and environmental impact of the supply chain, making fluoride-based purification increasingly more unattractive as a purification methodology.
In August 2019, MRC successfully led a $2.6M Australian Research Application to develop a commercial-scale process to produce high purity natural graphite (99.95%) partnering with Australia’s national science research agency, CSIRO, and Doral Fused Materials to develop a more environmentally friendly and lower cost production method.
CSIRO is making excellent progress on non-fluoride chemical purification of Munglinup graphite. Thus far, the Munglinup concentrate is demonstrating to be very amenable to purification with four nines achieved through a range of different non-fluoride methods. Impurities characterisation and purification work on Skaland concentrates have already been completed.
As well as advancing the purification work, the Complany also completed initial micronisation and spheronisation testwork on both Skaland and Munglinup concentrate.
The Company has gathered coin cell data on micronised Munglinup flake, and prior work on coarse flake spherical Skaland graphite demonstrated high initial specific capacity and cyclability.
The Company recognises that to produce a quality natural anode material consistently requires a good understanding of the orebodies’ variability.