Customers from the battery and industrial markets targeted

Following initial positive tests, the Australian company EcoGraf Limited (ASX: EGR; Frankfurt: FMK; OTCQX: ECGFF) and the German chemical company BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, intend to collaborate on the recycling of anode graphite in the future. As Ecograf announced today, both companies have signed a non-binding letter of intent for this purpose. It stipulates that EcoGraf will support BASF’s recycling research and development in Europe with its anode recycling capacities in order to achieve the goal of a circular economy and a reduction in CO2 emissions more quickly.

Specifically, the two partners plan to use the patented Ecograf process to recover anode material from BASF’s leached black mass, which is recovered from production waste and end-of-life lithium-ion batteries. The partners intend to use the recycled material to produce product samples, which will then be made available to customers from the battery and industrial markets for evaluation. The test results will in turn be used to refine the recycling process scheme and system planning. To increase customer acceptance, the recycled material will be blended with the high purity and high performance Tanzanian graphite from Ecograf’s Epanko project.

BASF is a leading chemical company headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF is committed to a circular battery value chain and operates a commercial-scale active cathode materials plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, and has broken ground on a battery recycling prototype plant at the same site (see

Ecograf expects to open its first product qualification facility in Western Australia by the end of the first quarter of 2024. This facility, with state-of-the-art metallurgical processing capabilities, will be capable of producing purified spherical graphite (active anode material) using EcoGraf’s proprietary HFfree purification technology. The facility will provide the blueprint for commercial scale purification facilities that the company intends to build and operate in key global lithium-ion battery markets.

In parallel, Ecograf continues to work on the development of its Epanko graphite mine in Tanzania. An application is currently being submitted to the Tanzanian government for an extension of the existing mining license. The larger area is to be guaranteed for 50 years. Meanwhile, the German KfW IPEX-Bank has been commissioned to structure a loan with UFK cover of up to US$ 105 million.

Conclusion: Ecograf intends to cover the entire battery anode graphite value chain - from mining to recycling. Ecograf has forged close partnerships with German companies and institutions both on the upstream side, for financing the mine in Tanzania, and on the downstream side, for off-take and recycling. Last but not least, the off-take partner is also a German company, Thyssenkrupp AG. The pieces of the puzzle fit together to form a coherent overall picture in the context of the recent discussion about tightening the supply chain law: if you really want to control supply chains, you would be well advised to help shape and (financially) guarantee the supply chain yourself. Although the quantities of graphite in question are almost negligible in view of China's dominance of basic materials, the success of Ecograf would at least be proof that there are alternatives.

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