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Update: Woxna Graphite mine (Sweden)

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

Canadian minerals company Leading Edge Materials Corp. (Leading Edge Materials) has provided an update regarding the company’s current activities and future plans for the 100%-owned Woxna graphite mine in Sweden.

Located in central Sweden, the European graphite project is positioned to become a leading supplier of sustainable graphite for the high growth lithium ion battery market. According to Leading Edge Materials, Woxna is a fully constructed mine, with all processing, waste management and infrastructure in place. In 2017, Woxna was granted a 25-year extension to its operating licence. The site is presently held on a production ready basis as the research necessary to maximise the value of products for sale is completed.

Blair Way, President and CEO of Leading Edge Materials Corp, stated: “The company has received a number of queries about the recent price volatility. The company is not aware of any fundamental changes to the company or the outlook for its assets over the past week.”

Due to the fully built status of the Woxna mine, Leading Edge Materials is much further advanced than most industry peers on this path to supply anode materials to a growing European lithium ion battery market.

The business objective of Leading Edge Materials is to own and control a sustainable production chain for graphite anode material from mining through to blending of customer ready product. The company shall also produce saleable by-products to fully utilise all graphite material mined at Woxna.

In order to achieve these objectives, various strategic research is underway or scheduled, building upon the extensive operating and research knowledge of the company. Activities include:

  • Complete an internal trade off study for installation of a Battery Graphite Demonstration Plant at the Woxna site designed to produce substantial volumes of commercial anode materials. Study recommendations are expected mid 3Q18.
  • Undertake additional graphite shaping/spheronising trials for final selection of appropriate equipment to achieve consistent product specifications at Demonstration Plant scale. Results are expected during 3Q18.
  • Conduct further thermal purification test work to allow equipment selection and ensure consistent results in line with customer specifications. Results are anticipated in 3Q18.
  • Complete detailed design for the Battery Graphite Demonstration Plant to enable commercial scale production of samples for customer qualification. Results are expected in 4Q18.
  • Subject to finance and satisfactory technical results, install purification and shaping Demonstration Plant on Woxna mine site and produce substantial quantities of graphite materials for potential customers.
  • Initial results expected 2Q19 as part of an on-going qualification and product optimisation campaign.
  • Use demonstration plant by-product material to investigate alternate markets benefiting from the thermal and conductive characteristics of natural graphite.

Way added: “Within a European context, the value of a fully built and permitted mine site cannot be underestimated. The fortunate legacy created by previous investment places Woxna as a graphite industry leader, able to now invest specifically in gaining the maximum value from our materials. Our focus on larger ‘Demonstration Plant’ scale testing is motivated by extensive customer discussion, and will allow us to engage with potential customers with the volume of material that is required to achieve battery industry qualification.”

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