The other location being examined by the company was Geraldton, Western Australia. Hexagon said the US site was chosen because the Australian option had minimal financial advantage when evaluated on a post-tax economics basis.
The scoping study involved a standalone advanced processing plant that would source high-quality feedstocks from third parties, and one of two thermal purification technologies to refine flake concentrate prior to processing. The resulting product from the GPPP would then be used for one of a dozen premium materials in the battery and technical/industrial space for the manufacture of high-spec graphite products.
Construction of the GPPP will be done in phases beginning in the first half of 2020. While its initial production capacity will be 1,000 tonnes per year, it will ramp up to a commercial scope that is anticipated to total 20,000t/y in rated capacity. A subsequent expansion could grow that once again to 50,000t/y.
A product suite, planned to consist of 12 distinct, refined, milled and sometimes shaped graphite materials for expanded graphite, battery anode material (BAM), conductivity enhancement materials (CEM), ultra-fine powders and precursor for synthetic diamonds, as well as an expanded graphite precursor, will be the focus of the facility.
There will be three product lines, Hexagon Resources added, an expandable precursor line, an industrial applications line and a battery materials line. The produced packaged products would be shipped to customers in the US and Europe (60%), as well as Japan, Korea and China (40%).