Urbix, a US-based processer of battery-grade graphite, has signed a partnership agreement with Circulor, a supply chain traceability provider, to set a new standard for transparency and accountability in sourcing and processing graphite used in advanced batteries.
Urbix said it would utilise Circulor's technology to track and trace its graphite as it changes state from extraction to inclusion in electric vehicles; the companies are in conversation with mining partners to expand the partnership.
Nico Cuevas, chairman and chief executive officer, Urbix, described the partnership as a "game-changer" for the graphite industry. He said OEMs and battery manufacturers are increasingly expecting a higher level of transparency and traceability in the materials they utilise.
"By partnering with Circulor, we can certify that our graphite is ethically sourced and sustainably processed," Cuevas explained.
"Circulor and Urbix make the perfect partnership because we are aligned in our values and in our commitment to fundamentally transforming the battery supply chain."
Veera Johnson, the co-founder, Circulor, said it is no longer sufficient to "just talk about your environment and human rights standards" and that companies "must be able to demonstrate them".
"Circulor's technology will provide a detailed chain of custody throughout the supply chain and as the graphite changes state," according to Johnson.
"This is done by tracking the composition of the graphite and its unique chemistry rather than relying on traditional methods like shipment paperwork."
Phase one of the partnership will establish the whole chain of custody and traceability. Over the long term, the partnership will seek to expand to include graphite mines and create a network of companies that can provide traceability and accountability assurances across a larger share of the battery supply chain.