Graphex Technologies, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Graphex Group Limited – a global leader in mid-stream processing of natural graphite anode material for use in Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries – has announced that it has entered into an offtake agreement with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Syrah Resources Limited (Syrah) for natural flake graphite from Syrah’s Balama graphite operation in Mozambique. The agreement is another key strategic step forward, providing Graphex with a diverse supply of quality raw materials as the Company forges ahead with its plans to bring domestic processing facilities online to supply automakers and battery gigafactories with the needed anode material for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, beginning with initial graphite processing facilities in Michigan, then expanding to support the North American market.
Demand for EVs continues to rise with recent reports which forecast that more than 14 million EV’s will be sold by the end of 2023 alone – a 35% year-on-year increase. The incentives included in the US Inflation Reduction Act (US IRA) for new EVs with domestically sourced and/or processed components are anticipated to further catapult demand through 2030 when 50% of all new car sales are expected to be electric. Critical minerals, like refined graphite, that power EV batteries are key components to the electrification movement, and US government incentives can be accessed when those critical minerals are procured from approved countries and processed domestically. As EV demand continues to expand, the need for natural flake graphite is set to grow exponentially and is expected to reach 4.1 million tons per annum by 2030.
Syrah’s Balama graphite operation is the largest natural graphite operation outside of China, with a production capacity of 350,000 metric tons per year and a multi-generational 50+ year life underpinned by a globally significant high grade natural graphite reserve and resource.
“This agreement with Syrah could change the graphite game in North America,” said John DeMaio, Chief Executive Officer of Graphex Technologies. “Connecting Syrah’s volume with our proven experience and ongoing build-out of domestic processing capacity in North America represents a giant leap forward in meeting the demand for high-quality, high-volume, US IRA-compliant graphite anode material in the EV and renewable energy industries. Securing significant sources of quality raw materials from well-established companies and mine assets such as Syrah and its Balama graphite operation, ensures that Graphex can meet the growing needs of OEMs now and into the future. Whenever you can solve an industry-level problem, everyone wins, including the public.”
“Graphex is a well-respected mid-stream processor of graphite anode material for Li-ion batteries,” said Shaun Verner, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Syrah. “We look forward to working together as part of Graphex’s supply chain to help meet the rapidly growing demand for graphite anode material in North America.”
Graphex plans to process the graphite acquired from the Balama graphite operation at the Company’s future North American facilities, potentially including its Warren, Michigan facility, which is expected to deliver up to 15,000 metric tons per year of coated purified spherical graphite beginning in 2024, and additional facilities that are planned to be brought online as demand increases.