Syrah expands sales, marketing push

SYRAH Resources is diversifying its client base for production from its Balama graphite operation in Mozambique, inking a number of additional sales contracts just days after it announced it had completed commissioning and produced its first fines.
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Haydn Black

Its new customers will see graphite dispatched to China, Germany and India.

The first spot shipment to specialty expandable graphite products producer Yichang Xincheng Graphite is imminent and according to Syrah should lead to a long-term contract after the first cargo is delivered.

The expandable graphite market is a key market for large and jumbo flake sizes, and is said to be a market with high growth potential.

The company expects to enter into further sales agreements in China, and in order to preserve its flexibility in the battery and expandable graphite sectors some elements of a 2015 offtake agreement with China Aluminum International Engineering Corporation will not be activated.

Chalieco originally signed an 80,000 tonne per annum deal to exclusively distribute graphite from Balama throughout China and Hong Kong.

By not triggering some aspects of the deal Syrah said it would have a greater level of flexibility to develop sales into the Chinese industrial market.

The sales to German speciality carbon and sulphur products producer CS Additive will see at least 6000t shipped to Europe for industrial purposes this year.

An agency agreement with Magus Marketing for distribution to the Indian subcontinent has also been executed and orders have already been received and scheduled for shipment.

Syrah chief commercial officer Rob Schaefer said the further diversification across geography and end use markets was in line with its sales and marketing strategy now the focus at Balama was on optimisation and ramp-up.

Syrah is aiming to become the world’s largest graphite supplier this year, and is forecasting production of 160,000-180,000t, rising up to 300,000t in 2019.

Balama flake production began in November, and the first sale of fines graphite to battery anode customers is expected in the coming weeks.

Syrah shares were up 3.6% to A$4.87 in early trade, valuing the company at $1.45 billion.