The AAM material will come from natural graphite originating at its Balama graphite operation in Mozambique. The installation will permit it to demonstrate vertically integrated natural graphite AAM production capabilities commercially.
"Purified spherical graphite (anode precursor), produced and coated at Vidalia, was toll treated to AAM in Q4 2020 to accelerate product qualification," the company said.
"Syrah will use the furnace installed at Vidalia for fully integrated AAM production for ongoing product qualification, which is an iterative process of product testing with potential customers."
The next step for Syrah is its advancement toward a detailed design of an initial expansion of Vidalia's production capacity. A final investment decision (FID) for a 10,000-tonne-per-year AAM facility is expected in the second half of this year.
Syrah MD and CEO Shaun Verner said that the company is still on track on its journey to be a supplier of natural graphite AAM to ex-Asia markets.
"In our view, this milestone further positions Syrah as the most progressed ex-China option for vertically integrated supply of natural graphite AAM for USA and European battery makers and OEMs. We have been very encouraged by initial feedback from in-progress product testing and qualification processes."