Evolution Energy Delivers Positive Test Results on Battery Anode Materials from Chilalo Samples

Evolution Energy Minerals Ltd (ASX: EV1) has revealed successful anode product testwork from its technology partner and strategic shareholder BTR New Material Group Co Ltd.

BTR is a manufacturer of cathode and anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, and holds 9.9% of Evolution Energy’s share capital.

The positive results were received from testwork and performance evaluation conducted by BTR on battery anode materials made from Chilalo bulk concentrate samples.

Chilalo is located in Tanzania, and is a development-ready coarse flake graphite project with a net-present-value of US$338 million, and an internal-rate-or-return of 32%.

Binding off-take agreements cover 90% of production, with the company targeting a decision to mine by the first quarter of 2025.

There is a downstream strategy targeting battery anode production in the U.S.

Importance of BTR testing

The latest anode testwork advances the product testing beyond that previously undertaken by BTR as part of its due diligence program prior to becoming a shareholder.

This included comprehensive evaluation of electrochemical performance of an actual lithium-ion battery containing an anode derived from Chilalo concentrate.

Testwork has confirmed the ability for Chilalo graphite to replicate BTR’s existing premium quality anode materials which are mass produced by BTR and qualified by the world’s leading lithium-ion battery producers.

BTR will continue to undertake large scale testing on Chilalo ore all the way through to production of natural graphite battery anodes – shortening lengthy qualification timeframes.

Battery performance

Compared with reference products, the company’s anodes had similar multiplied charging capacity and high-temperature storage capabilities with retention rates being comparable after 200 cycles.

Long term cycling is continuing.

The next steps are to facilitate continued anode product qualification and development.

Evolution plans to ship a 400-tonne bulk sample of Chilalo ore to China for testing.

BTR intends to undertake comprehensive testwork on the bulk sample and optimize the production of the graphite anode product.

This will be followed by battery performance evaluation and customer qualification.

Working with a proven producer such as BTR is expected to shorten the lengthy qualification timeframes for battery anode materials.

Potential supply chains

Phil Hoskins, managing director for Evolution Energy, commented:

“Following the successful due diligence testwork by BTR, this program has sought to advance into the next phase – qualifying Chilalo anode materials into BTR’s premium quality product specifications.

“Results of this testwork will determine the anode specifications most suitable to Chilalo concentrate.

“Given the promising signs to date and BTR’s expertise in anode processing, we are confident that anodes derived from Chilalo graphite can qualify into the supply chains of major battery and electric vehicle companies.”

Valuation proposition

Evolution Energy has a market capitalisation around $19 million, based on the last traded price of $0.073, and 261 million shares on issue.

With the company holding $3.6 million in cash at the end of March 2024, this provides an intriguing enterprise value of just over $15 million.

Graphite is the dominant material across all commercial battery technologies.

Chilalo has a competitive advantage with coarse flake which drives margins, product quality, economics and strategic interest.

 

 

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