Grafiittianodimateriaalitehdas (GAMP)

Grafintec’s objective is to deliver a Finnish graphite based supply chain, that is sustainable, maximises resource conversion to final products, is competitive in cost and delivers a strong economic value proposition to the country.

To achieve this we are driving development around four pillars:

  1. Develop the Aitolampi natural graphite project into a mine, to deliver a base load production volume of high grade material.
  2. Build a Finnish value chain for anode material production with European sourced raw material, both secondary sourced (recycled or by product), alongside primary natural ore.
  3. Become a producer of spherical graphite and other upgraded, high purity, value added graphite products.
  4. Establish strong strategic partnership for development of Finnish anode materials value chain.

Hub for anode materials

Anodes, manufactured from graphite, are a key component of batteries, therefore making graphite a strategically desirable raw material in the rapidly growing battery market and listed as a Critical Raw Material (“CRM”) by the European Union (“EU”). Anodes are oxidising metals, assisting electrons along a conductor to the cathode, making it fundamental in accessing the electricity that makes batteries work. Graphite is considered an ideal anode for lithium-ion batteries due to its key material properties including high energy density, power density and life cycle. Recent research indicates that graphite has the potential to further improve lithium storage performance, making it increasingly more important for electric vehicles and energy storage as part of the green energy transition. Currently, there is no European manufacturer of anodes, however, demand is gradually expanding via the many battery companies that are being established.

Grafintec, is currently working to establish a facility for processing graphite, with the final product primarily tailored for anode manufacturing, the Graphite Anode Materials Plant (“GAMP”). This product is technically referred to as coated spherical graphite, which increases a battery’s competitiveness in terms of performance and cost.

The planned facility, located in the GigaVaasa area in the municipality of Korsholm, western Finland, will begin processing imported material with the aim to process Grafintec’s own, mined material in the future. The GigaVaasa area is an industrial zone focused on energy storage and battery technologies and therefore an ideal location for Grafintec’s graphite processing plant.

Highlights

  • Updated strategy to fast-track full GAMP process to capture more of the anode material production value-chain and provide greater supply-chain security following the export controls imposed by China on graphite materials in December 2023.
  • The full GAMP process consists of Spheronisation, Purification and Coating to produce Coated Spherical Graphite (“CSPG”) for sale to anode manufacturers.
  • Initially graphite concentrate will be sourced from third parties but ultimately the intention is to develop the Company’s own deposits in Finland where preliminary metallurgical test-work has returned very encouraging results.
  • An enhanced Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) on the full GAMP process is expected to be concluded during 2024, building on the PFS of the Coating stage of the process previously notified in July 2023 that demonstrated robust economics with a post-tax NPV8of US$242 million and a post-tax IRR of 39%.
  • This enhanced PFS will be followed by a Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) during 2025 with first production still planned from 2027.

GAMP Strategy

The updated strategy for GAMP is to build the three-stage processing plant at the outset comprising Spheronisation, Purification and Coating effectively bypassing the previous Phase 1. Graphite concentrate feed will initially be sourced from third-party mines and the Company has letters of intent for this supply. The GAMP will then process this material and produce 20,000 tonnes of CSPG per year for sale to anode manufacturers for the battery industry. A future expansion to 60,000 tonnes per year of CSPG is then planned.

Revised Development Plan

The development plan for the GAMP is focused on two primary workstreams, Technical and Environmental. These workstreams require synchronisation, with outcomes from each needing to be incorporated in the other.

The Technical workstream comprises the following:

  • The updated PFS technical workstream builds on the PFS completed for the Coating plant released in July 2023 which demonstrated robust preliminary economics with a post-tax NPV8of US$242 million and a post-tax IRR of 39%.
  • Optimisation test-work and techno-economic studies of the full process are ongoing including state-of-the-art Spheronisation and chemical Purification technologies with our technology partner Dorfner Anzaplan GmbH (“Anzaplan”).
  • On the conclusion of the PFS by end of 2024, the Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”) will be launched.
  • The DFS is expected to take six to nine months to complete, and during this period, test-work will continue, generating product for battery manufacturers to complete pre-qualification testing.

The ongoing Environmental workstream comprises the following:

  • As previously announced, Grafintec has appointed Finnish Engineering Consultancy AFRY Finland Oy (“AFRY”) to undertake the Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”). The EIA will reflect the updated scope of the development plan and is aimed to be completed by the end of 2024.
  • Following its submission, the local authority, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (“ELY”), will review the EIA before making a statement of their findings. The review process by ELY is anticipated to take approximately three months.
  • Following completion and submission of the EIA, work will commence towards the Environmental Permit. The preparation of the Environmental Permit application, which will take approximately six months to compile, can partly be done as a parallel workstream with the EIA with the aim to speed-up the overall process.
  • The Environmental Permit application is then submitted to the Regional State Administrative Agency. The processing of the Environmental Permit is expected to take approximately nine months, with the final decision anticipated towards the end of 2025.

With the successful conclusion of the Technical and Environmental workstreams listed above, the GAMP project will enter Front-End Engineering Design (“FEED”), financing and ultimately construction phases with first production targeted for 2027.

Latest GAMP news

  • 17.1.2024: Update for the development of Graphite Anode Materials Plant in the GigaVaasa area. Read more →
  • 26.9.2023: Preliminary Roadmap for the development of the Graphite Anode Materials Plant in the GigaVaasa area. Read more →
  • 4.9.2023: Grafintec is implementing a two-phased strategy to create a graphite processing facility and extract graphite from its own mining projects, thus positioning Grafintec as a leading player in the European graphite material supply chain. Read more →
  • 20.7.2023: Grafintec has completed the first stage of the process design, including a preliminary review of the economics, as part of the Pre Feasibility Study (“PFS”) for a Graphite Anode Materials Plant (“GAMP”) located in the GigaVaasa area, in the municipality of Korsholm on the west coast of Finland. The study, prepared by the engineering consultancy RB Plant Construction Ltd (“RB Plant”), is based on an industrial plant with a total production capacity of 20,000 tonnes per annum (“tpa”) of Coated Spherical Graphite (“CSPG”). Read more →
  • 30.6.2023: Grafintec has been granted an extension of the advance reservation for Plot 1, Block 3017 in the GigaVaasa area (“Extension”). The plot will be used for the establishment of a Graphite Anode Materials Plant (“GAMP”). The Extension was approved by the municipality of Korsholm on 28 June 2023. The reservation is valid until 31 January 2024, with the option to extend further. Read more →
  • 28.4.2023: Grafintec has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) with Thermal & Material Engineering Center (“TMEC”) from Ukraine to establish a joint venture technology company (“JV”). Read more →
  • 21.2.2023: Grafintec has signed a site reservation agreement with the municipality of Korsholm, securing Plot 1, Block 3017 in the GigaVaasa area, for the establishment of a Graphite Anode Materials Plant (“GAMP”).  The agreement was signed on 13 February 2023 and the reservation is valid for an initial six-month period from signing, with the option to extend. Read more →
  • 9.1.2023: Grafintec Update – Anode Materials Plant Pre-feasibility Study Awarded. Read more →
  • 26.9.2022: Grafintec has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with Qingdao Hensen Graphite Ltd, that includes an agreed framework and key terms on which both companies are collaborating with regards to establishing an anode materials hub in Vaasa, Finland. Read more →

Conceptual plant layout (click to enlarge image)

GigaVaasa scenarios