Kibaran claims “industrial scale” testwork on graphite concentre from its Epanko project in Tanzania has confirmed its “excellent suitability” for use in lithium-ion batteries.
“We continue to be encouraged by positive feedback from leading battery anode manufacturers as we advance through the negotiation process,” Kibaran managing director Andrew Spinks said in an ASX announcement.
“Our spherical graphite was produced from large scale industrial-sized facilities, rather than lab-scale testwork, thereby allowing battery anode manufacturers to determine real world performance and replicability of the material.”
The testwork was carried out in East Asia, with another round of testing underway at a battery facility in Germany.
Kibaran’s offtake partners are Japan’s Sojitz and Germany’s ThyssenKrupp.
The ASX-listed company is studying the potential of producing 60,000 tonnes per annum of graphite concentrate.
It had cash holdings at the start of 2017 of $7.3 million.
Shares in Kibaran were up 6% to 17.5c in early trade, capitalising the company at $44 million.
After spiking to over 32c back in June last year, Kibaran shares have subsequently been struggling to maintain traction.
Others in the sector trying to develop projects in Africa include the in-construction graphite-heavyweight Syrah, and juniors such as Magnis, Volt, Battery Minerals and Walkabout.