Leading Edge Materials Corp (CVE:LEM) (OTCQB:LEMIF) unveiled a milestone for its mothballed Woxna graphite mine site in Sweden, which is now poised to get a demonstration plant after the firm received an engineering study.
The new plant means processing can be optimized and larger volumes of natural graphite anode material can be supplied to prospective lithium-ion battery customers.
READ: Leading Edge Materials moves towards engineering study for Woxna plant after test work complete
"After the considerable time dedicated to graphite anode process development and optimization, we are very pleased to have achieved this milestone for the Woxna graphite mine," said Mark Saxon, interim president and CEO.
"As there is no natural graphite anode produced in Europe, we believe that installation of the demonstration plant will make a very significant contribution to the security of the emerging European lithium ion battery supply chain."
The engineering study was undertaken by a leading global engineering firm, using data from the extensive purification and spheronisation test work completed by LEM.
It provides design, installation and cost estimate criteria for a process that can deliver approximately 100kg per day of high purity natural graphite anode suitable for lithium ion batteries. Recent test work by LEM has produced ultra-high purity graphite up to 99.998% carbon and the process flexibility will allow purity to be tailored to customers performance and price requirements.
Leading Edge highlighted that 100% of natural graphite anode is manufactured in China using chemical leaching.
In contrast, the thermal purification process designed for the Woxna demonstration plant requires no chemicals, instead using elevated temperature to remove impurities.
The furnace at Woxna will also be operated using cost competitive Swedish electrical power which is expected to result in a low carbon footprint.
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