Syrah Resources completes BFS for U.S. natural graphite active anode material production facility

Syrah Resources Ltd., Melbourne, Australia, has released its bankable feasibility study (BFS) for its flagship natural graphite active anode material (AAM) production facility. Located in the U.S., this facility is on track to become the first vertically integrated producer of natural graphite AAM outside of China, reports.


In its release to the market, Syrah said the BFS showed its “strong business case” for expanding the facility. Specifically, the study shows 10,000 metric tonnes per annum (ktpa) of AAM production can be achieved via the expansion of Syrah’s existing plant and infrastructure in Vidalia, Georgia. Currently, the facility can produce 5000ktpa of unpurified spherical graphite and 0.2ktpa of purified spherical graphite to battery specification.

But, by installing a new furnace next quarter the company believes it will be able to produce 0.2ktpa of natural graphite AAM. The BFS also looked at eventually expanding the Vidalia facility to enable 40ktpa of AAM production. It estimated the capital cost of expanding the facility to 10ktpa is US$138 million (around A$187.5 million) and US$477 million (roughly A$648.1 million) for the 40ktpa expansion.

Once up and running, it’s estimated the graphite will have an operating cost estimate of US$3149/t AAM (currently equivalent to A$4279/t AAM) before reducing further once fully expanded. Commenting on this latest milestone, Syrah Resources Managing Director and CEO Shaun Verner said the BFS presented a strong business case.

“The BFS confirms strong positive economics for commercial-scale natural graphite AAM production at Vidalia, with robust operating margins implied compared to current observed spot natural graphite AAM prices, which are arguably at the low point of the cycle,” he said.

“The completion of the BFS further enhances engagement with potential offtake customers, financiers, and government, and represents an exciting milestone in the execution of our U.S. and vertical integration strategy, which commenced in 2016,” he added.


To date, Syrah has invested US$56 million (roughly A$78.8 million) on the wider battery anode supply chain, including existing upgrades at Vidalia. It’s also begun working on a front end engineering and design (FEED) for the planned expansion to 10ktpa of AAM.

The FEED study is expected to be completed by Q1 FY21, at which point detailed design work will begin. Additionally, Syrah has begun discussions with potential financiers and offtake partners for Vidalia following the completion of the BFS.

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