International Graphite fires up battery anode graphite pilot plant

International Graphite has successfully commissioned its new pilot scale graphite micronising and spheroidising equipment at its downstream processing facility at Collie in Western Australia.

Graphite has a wide range of uses including battery anode material (BAM), while refractory materials account for 43 per cent of global consumption.

Executive chairman Phil Hearse said: “This is a major step in developing our operating knowledge and systems in the graphite downstream processing industry, leading to building a team that will understand the operational needs of graphite processing.

“It gives us further credibility in the global graphite market, provides the opportunity to engage with end-users, and shows the industry that we are serious contenders in development of our vertically
integrated graphite business.”

The pilot plant, which received $2 million in support from the WA government, is the most advanced and largest known facility of its type in Australia and is the first stage in the Company’s roadmap to full-scale commercial production.

Operation of the pilot plant is designed to:

  • Demonstrate the Company’s ability to produce a high quality spheroidised graphite product
    suitable for battery anode material (BAM)
  • Support the design and development of a commercial line of micronised graphite product
  • Begin establishing International Graphite’s presence in the graphite marketplace
  • And build operating expertise in graphite product handling and packaging.

The pilot scale micronising and spheroidising equipment consists of two specialised machines used to size and shape graphite concentrates from a nominal ~-150 micron to ~-20 micron.

A classifying impact mill is used to grind the graphite flakes to a fine size while avoiding overgrinding using a built-in classifier.

International Graphite said the mill consists of a feed hopper, screw feeder, grinding chamber, rotary classifier and cartridge filter driven by an exhaust fan.

The graphite spheroidising mill shapes and folds the graphite flakes from platelets to a spherical
shape which is required for BAM production.

The spheroidising mill consists of a feed system, spheroidising chamber, rotary separator, air classifier and cartridge filter driven by an exhaust fan.

Picture: International Graphite/Collie pilot plant

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