Northern Graphite Corporation announces that it has signed an exclusive agreement to license certain Intellectual Property (“IP”) from Hatch Ltd. for use in Northern’s proprietary natural graphite purification process.
Hatch’s IP relates to the design, construction and operation of a special fluidized bed reactor that is a key component of Northern’s chlorine based process. Under the Agreement, Hatch will provide engineering, design and technical support services and equipment with respect to the core technology, and will share in any royalties/revenues earned by Northern through licensing the Company’s technology to third parties
Graphite mine concentrates must be upgraded with a secondary purification process in order to be used in a number of value added markets, the largest being lithium ion batteries (“LiBs”). Graphite is the anode material in LiBs and there are no substitutes. LiB anode material must be purified to 99.95% and some specific impurities, such as Fe, must be less than 50ppm. Essentially all of this purification is done in China using the wet chemical approach which is largely based on the use of hydrofluoric acid. This is difficult and/or expensive to do in the west because of environmental and workplace health and safety concerns. As the electric vehicle market expands and the demand for LiB anode material grows exponentially, it is critical that the west develop an alternative to current graphite purification processes.
Gregory Bowes, Chief Executive Officer, commented that; “Hatch’s know how, expertise and IP has facilitated the development of a cost competitive and environmentally sustainable solution to the purification problem.” He added; “Northern’s technology provides the opportunity to build and/or license anode material manufacturing plants in the west, in parallel with the development of our Bissett Creek graphite deposit.”
Northern’s proprietary purification technology will use a specially constructed continuous, fluidized bed reactor designed by Hatch. Northern’s process has been extensively tested in the lab and at a bench scale and the next step is to build a pilot plant to further evaluate its performance and refine capital and operating costs.