Electric vehicle (“EV”) lithium-ion batteries contain an anode (-ve) and a cathode (+ve).
The anode comprises +95% graphite with 35kg–75kg of graphite in a typical EV battery pack and 10x–15x more graphite (by weight) than lithium (in the cathode).
Battery anode material (“BAM”) is made from a fine flake form (-100 mesh) of natural graphite or synthetically produced graphite.
Synthetic graphite is made from petroleum or coal refinery residue requiring high-temperature processing and orders of magnitude higher levels of CO₂ emissions.
Mined and concentrated natural graphite is micronised, spheronised, purified (“SPG”) and then coated to become BAM.
In most cases ~30% of the original graphite concentrate becomes BAM.
There are forecasts for an additional 100 million light EV sales to 2030 alone and a major supply deficit of natural fine flake natural graphite is forecast.
China produces ~95% of the world’s BAM with non-China anode, Li-ion battery with EV manufacturers critically dependent upon China supplies.
China has insufficient natural fine flake graphite to meet internal demand and is importing concentrates via offtake contracts with many of the world’s new or proposed graphite mines.
China wants to grow and protect its battery and EV business and in December 2023 introduced ‘temporary’ export licence controls on graphite, anodes and EV batteries.
The USA Inflation Reduction Act is a multi-billion dollar initiative to stimulate in-country manufacturing of batteries and EVs via reliable, independent supply chains of quality, sustainable critical minerals, including graphite.
The USA has also introduced more stringent controls on how enterprises can access IRA funding. This includes exclusions where material levels of enterprise ownership or product inputs are from “countries of concern”.
The EU is introducing a similar supply chain stimulus initiative (“Critical Raw Materials Act”) with several other countries likely to follow suit.
The Kambale Graphite Project is strategically well located and well timed to participate as an uncommitted source of natural fine flake graphite in the new critical mineral supply chains being established by the USA, EU and other countries.
Ghana is a highly regarded, safe, politically stable, modern and fast-growing West African jurisdiction with a long history of mining by international Tier-1 companies. It has a highly skilled workforce, excellent infrastructure, well established contracting and supply sectors plus international ports and access to global markets.