Kwinana move a big step for Hazer

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph

Hazer Group is one step closer to developing a potential large-scale graphite plant for synthetic graphite production, following the successful relocation of its Fluidised Bed Reactor pilot plant from Sydney to Kwinana.

AXS-listed Hazer made the announcement on March 13, that the FBR had been relocated from a site in western Sydney to Mineral Resources’ site in Kwinana, and is ready for operation.

Located next to Mineral Resources’ recently commissioned Paddle Tub Reactor pilot plant, the FBR will restart its testing program this month.

In December 2017, Mineral Resources agreed to work with Hazer Group to commercialise the “Hazer process”, by co-developing a large-scale plant capable of producing ultra-high purity graphite.

The low-cost, low-emission process, which was originally invented as a result of an energy project at the University of Western Australia, mixes natural gas and unprocessed iron ore.

Hazer chief executive Geoff Ward said the delivery of the FBR pilot plant to the Kwinana site, and the commissioning of the PTR pilot plant was an important milestone in the development of the graphite production facility.

“We look forward to seeing the results from the PTR pilot plant over the coming months as we progress our collaboration with Mineral Resources,” he said.

“If the PTR pilot plant test program is successful, the next stage is for the development of a 1000tpa plant to secure initial graphite customers, before proceeding to stage three — a nominal 10,000tpa graphite plant.”

Preliminary testing of Hazer graphite last year returned performance results comparable to commercial graphite in lithium-ion batteries.

Kwinana Industries Council director Chris Oughton said Kwinana was emerging as a “major focus” for the lithium battery industry, and Hazer’s decision to move the FBR pilot plant from Sydney to Kwinana was “quite logical”.

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