Updated: Aug 5, 2022
Volt Resources Limited (ASX: VRC; FSE: R8L) today announced the recommencement of production at the Zavalievsky (“ZG”) graphite mine and processing plant.
The export of graphite products to central and eastern Europe will commence later in August with sales revenue expected to be received soon thereafter.
This is a significant milestone for the Company after all operations were halted due to Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
Volt Resources holds a 70% shareholding in the Zavalievsky operations. The mine is located 160 kms from Ukraine’s western border with Moldova. The mine and facilities are near key markets in Europe where EV battery makers and renewable energy participants are located.
The ZG mine produces more than 25 various natural graphite grades with a carbon content from 85% to 99.95% and in size from 4 to 200 microns, as well as colloidal graphite products and graphite-based lubricants.
Speaking with S&P Global Market Intelligence earlier in 2022, the CEO Trevor Matthews said, “given the demand in Europe, I’d like to think we could get Zavalievsky to 100,000 tonnes per year by 2025”.
An article in DW this year noted the graphite supply problem facing Europe.
The article mentions how China dominates global graphite supply market, producing almost all the graphite that is used for battery anode material in lithium-ion batteries.
“We hardly have any supply in Europe to even scratch the surface of future graphite demand for lithium-ion battery industry so far”, according to Burkhard Straube, head of graphite solutions at SGL Carbon told DW.
According to Bloomberg NEF tens of millions of electric vehicles are expected to be added to the roads over the next 10 years as part of global efforts to reduce carbon emissions. This will create a 500% increase in demand for graphite dominated battery anodes.
The Telsa gigafactory in berlin is expected to have an annual production of up to 100 gigawatt hours when it is online from 2023. This could be increased to 200 or 250 GWh. Even at 100 GWh this would produce enough batteries for around 1.3 million model Y vehicles.
The Zavalievsky graphite mine is the largest operating graphite mine in continental Europe.
Based on past operating performance and improvements to operations and planning, ZG is forecast to produce between 8,000 and 9,000 tonnes of graphite products for the 12 months ended 30 June 2022.
The production forecast for ZG’s unique high value purified graphite product will be provided once operations are ramped up and stabilised.
The Zavalievsky graphite mine in Ukraine