Northern Graphite Corporationannounces that it is providing the first commercial samples of its coated spherical graphite to potential customers. SPG is the anode material used in lithium ion batteries and is manufactured from flake graphite concentrate produced by graphite mines. Coated SPG sells for $10,000-20,000/tonne compared to $1,100/tonne for large flake graphite.
Northern has manufactured SPG from a representative sample of its mine concentrate and purified and coated it using the Company's proprietary technologies. LIB cell testing indicates that Northern's SPG has a higher total capacity and better first cycle efficiency than commercial samples. The reversible capacity is 365 mAh/g, which is very close to the theoretical maximum of 372 mAh/g, and the first cycle efficiency is 92-94%. Dr. Edward Buiel, founder of Coulometrics, LLC and Northern's Chief Technology Officer stated that: "Large flake graphite from the Bissett Creek deposit has a uniquely pristine crystal structure. The low degree of disorder creates very high reversible capacity without the need for thermal processing, and the material can be easily purified without acid washing, both of which result in a much smaller environmental footprint than competing products."
The Bissett Creek deposit also has other natural competitive advantages in the LIB market. Approximately 90% of production will be "battery grade" and could be turned into anode material (whereas the peer group is generally 40-70%), and the yield on rounding is 50+% versus one third or less which is standard in the industry.
Almost all, natural SPG is currently produced in China and the purification and coating processes are not compatible with the "green" objectives of modern industry, particularly electric vehicles. Northern has developed proprietary purification and chemical vapour deposition based coating processes that are environmentally sustainable and price competitive. The coating process also allows first cycle efficiency to be controlled and easily matched to different cathode materials.
Greg Bowes, CEO, commented that: "The LIB and electric vehicle industries need a source of natural graphite that offers higher capacity, higher first cycle efficiency and a high level of consistency at a lower cost and a much smaller environmental footprint. We are leveraging the unique properties of our deposit with proprietary technologies to achieve these objectives and to become the world's premier supplier of high quality graphite."