Syrah emerges as first US-based commercial-scale AAM supplier  

Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) says it has become the first commercial-scale vertically integrated natural graphite active anode material (AAM) supplier outside of China. 

The company has now started production at its 11,250 tonne per annum (tpa) Vidalia Facility in Louisiana, US.  

The $263.6 million market capitalisation company says it expects to supply 8,000tpa of AAM from Vidalia to automotive and clean energy company Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) under an existing offtake agreement, subject to production ramp-up and finalising qualification. 

Syrah Resources Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shaun Verner says Vidalia’s importance is reinforced given China’s introduction of export controls on natural and synthetic graphite and its products.  

“Commencing production at Vidalia is a huge step forward in Syrah’s evolution, with the downstream integration being the culmination of almost 7 years of technology development, feasibility, procurement, engineering, construction and commissioning work undertaken by the Syrah team and its service providers. 

Our 11,250tpa AAM Vidalia operation is strategic for both Syrah and the North American battery supply chain and is the foundation of our downstream growth strategy. This strategy is supported by strong EV-driven demand globally, recognition of the importance of independent natural graphite AAM critical mineral supply, and differentiation in terms of emissions intensity of production and provenance of supply.”   

Syrah is currently progressing expansion of Vidalia to 45,000tpa AAM capacity, inclusive of 11,250tpa AAM to readiness for a final investment decision. 

The company is targeting 80% within 6 months and fully capacity within 18 months from commencement. 

At the same time, the US Department of Energy is undertaking due diligence for an additional advanced technology vehicles manufacturing (ATVM) loan for Vidalia’s further expansion. 

Vidalia processes natural graphite supplied from Syrah’s Balama Graphite Operation in Mozambique. Natural graphite is a critical mineral due to its use in the lithium-ion battery supply chain. 

Commissioning and production activities through various process areas at Vidalia have been undertaken over several months. 

Syrah has produced unpurified spherical graphite from the front-end milling area since October 2023 to build an inventory of precursor value-added material in preparation for commissioning of the purification and furnace areas in January 2024. 

First purified spherical graphite material was produced in late January 2024.

Syrah Resources is a minerals and technology company focused on its flagship Balama Graphite Operation in Mozambique and downstream AAM Facility in the US.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Syrah Resources
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.