Mineral Resources, Hazer advance Kwinana pilot plant

Hazer's FBR pilot plant (foreground) and Mineral Resources' PTR Pilot Plant (background). Image: Hazer Group

Hazer Group’s graphite pilot plant project with Mineral Resources is set to advance following the delivery of additional components to Kwinana in Western Australia.

Perth-based Hazer has successfully relocated its fluidised bed reactor (FBR) pilot plant from Sydney to Mineral Resources’ site in Kwinana, Perth. Hazer announced via the ASX yesterday that the PTR pilot plant had now been commissioned.

The FBR pilot plant has also been placed next to a paddle tube reactor (PTR) pilot plant at the site being developed by Mineral Resources.

Mineral Resources and Hazer made a deal for the creation of a ‘clean fuel’ synthetic graphite facility in October 2017, with an initial focus on creating a test plant capable of producing 5000–15,000 tonnes a year.

“We are very pleased that these important milestones have been achieved and we look forward to seeing the results from the PTR pilot plant over the coming months as we progress our collaboration with Mineral Resources to develop a commercial synthetic graphite production facility,” Hazer chief executive Geoff Ward said.

Initial tests returned positive results last year after high-purity graphite samples produced by Hazer exhibited performance comparable to fully optimised commercial graphite benchmarks in lithium-ion batteries.

Hazer’s clean fuel graphite was originally invented as a result of an energy project at the University of Western Australia, synthesised using a mixture of natural gas and unprocessed iron ore.

It requires only one processing pass to become battery ready, with by-product being purified in a single step compared to other processing alternatives that take five to seven stages.

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