Focus Metals Inc. and Hydro-Québec’s research institute, IREQ, have a licensing agreement enabling the junior mining company to develop graphite purification and production facilities, the companies said Monday.
A new, Focus-owned facility will transform first-production graphite sourced from the company’s Lac Knife, Quebec deposit to battery-grade material, they said in a statement.
The first part of the licensing agreement is related to Focus Metals’ development of a graphite purification process that brings Lac Knife’s processed graphite to 99.95% carbon for use in lithium battery applications.
The second part provides for the production of anodes for Li-ion batteries.
IREQ will provide technical support and cooperate in future material and processing technology improvements.
The new purification facility will be designed — subject to positive economic analysis — to produce 15,000 tons of spherical battery-grade flake graphite at peak, by 2015 while the anode production facility will be designed to produce up to 5,000 tons of anodes.
The cost of the facilities and the financing required have yet to be determined.
IREQ is to receive a licensing fee that will be paid in cash over a three-year period., representing less than 10% of the current working capital, as well as a royalty fee based on a percentage of future sales.
“This agreement reinforces our goal of becoming the lowest-cost technology graphite producer in the world,” Focus Metals’ President and CEO, Gary Economo said in a statement.