Nov 10, 2020

Supply of graphite from Europe

Talga, Mitsui and LKAB confirm intent for joint development of the Vittangi graphite mine and battery anode production.

Graphite is an important raw material needed for the production of Li-ion battery types. Today most anode materials are graphite-based, derived from either natural or synthetic graphite. For natural graphite there are existing requirements related to flake size distributions and carbon content. These are typically achieved via additional refining steps, where China currently dominates the production capacity of spherical graphite.

Europe is however relatively rich in natural graphite deposits (mainly in Scandinavia) which are often high grade and could in principle serve the European battery market for many decades. However, only certain types of natural graphite can be converted to anode material. The Vittangi graphite mine in Northern Sweden is one of those suitable resources –it is based on the high-quality Nunasvaara graphite deposit which even has been designated as a mineral deposit of national interest by the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU).

Last week Talga, Mitsui and LKAB confirmed their intent for a joint development of the Vittangi graphite mine and battery anode production – the Talga project. Talga has the intent to establish a European supply of sustainable, low-CO2 emission anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, utilising its 100% owned Swedish mineral assets and battery material technologies. The development plan includes the construction of a scalable lithium-ion battery anode production facility and integrated graphite mining operations in northern Sweden, with an initial production capacity of 19,000 tonnes coated anode per annum.

This is good news for the development of a resilient and sustainable European supply chain for battery production.

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