Evion advances European ambitions

GRAPHITE hopeful Evion has strengthened its relationship with battery anode material producer Urbix with the pair teaming up to examine downstream processing in Europe over the next 12 months.
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Haydn Black


They will seek a possible site for a BAM plant in Europe and advance a feasibility study for the proposal, building on Evion's recent scoping study for a German plant.
A 30,000 tonne per plant costing US$117 million could generate $2.8 billion in pre-tax cash flow with an internal rate of return of 39.5%.
Evion's developing Maniry mine in Madagascar would provide the feedstock for the proposed plant for what is expected to be a substantial volume of production.
Urbix recently signed a joint development agreement with South Korea's SK On, a supplier of batteries to major electric vehicle makers such as Ford, Hyundai and Volkswagen with intensions to expand in North America and Europe.
Evion managing director Tom Revy said producing BAM from Maniry ore was a major growth opportunity.
Additional investors will likely be required to finance the project, which will use Urbix's propriety technology that is said to be far more efficient than the more traditional processes used in China, with less dangerous chemicals.
Urbix has previously signed a non-binding offtake agreement to take 15,000t of graphite concentrate a year from Maniry for its US operations, around 40% of the planned 39,000tpa for stage one. 
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecasts a global shortage of 6.1Mt of natural graphite by 2035, estimating some 97 new mines each producing 56,000tpa is needed. 
The market for spheronised purified graphite is expected to grow from $5 billion to $27 billion by 2030.
Evion is also constructing its Panthera expandable graphite facility in India with local partner Metachem, with first production using third party feed expected later this year. 
Evion shares were steady this morning at A6.2c, valuing it at $17 million.