Are Australian graphite players ready to expand their horizon?
Team Veye | 06 Dec 2021
Graphite is used in pencils and lubricants. Its high conductivity of heat and electricity makes it useful in electronic products such as electrodes, batteries, and solar panels.
Apart from these, it is used as an anode in batteries, as a refractory material in industries producing molten metal for crucibles and blast furnace linings, and to replace asbestos in brake shoes for heavier vehicles.
Graphite is unique because it maintains its strength at high temperatures, and is resistant to corrosion. It is also unique due to its thermal expansion properties.
Australia isn't a producer of graphite (yet), but three states in the country are home to millions of tonnes of reserves and resources. The country sits on 1.05 million tonnes of ore reserves, and 7.14 million tonnes of economic demonstrated resources (EDR).
There has been a renewed interest in Australian graphite projects given the world’s anode material supply chain for Lithium-ion batteries being entirely dependent on China.
Many new players are getting involved in and have strategic investments in several aspects of the electrification supply chain including battery manufacturing of green credentialed lithium-ion battery cells, leading edge battery technology and high-quality anode materials.
The long term vision is to enable, support and accelerate the green energy transition critical for the adoption of Electric Mobility and Energy Storage.
Increasing EV demand combined with growing ESG thematic were providing strong tailwinds to the Graphite Market Conditions
While Australia had been thinking of pivoting its economy away from dependence on resources like coal and iron ore, it can capitalise on graphite by using new technologies. The New South Wales government had even noted graphite in its prospectus document on industrial mineral opportunities a few years ago.
By some estimates, the global market for graphite is set to exceed $30 billion by 2027. Tesla motors massive investment in this technology for domestic home energy storage may provide a major boost to the market and is expected to raise global graphite demand by 30%.
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