Sarytogan Graphite to Gain Premium with Nuclear Reactor-Grade Specifications

Sarytogan Graphite Ltd (ASX: SGA) has had its product independently assayed to meet the Equivalent Boron Content (EBC) specification required for use in nuclear reactors.

Graphite has always been an indispensable part of the nuclear fission reactor since its invention in the late 1930’s.

Its primary use is as the moderator surrounding the uranium fuel rods to slow down the neutrons released during fission so that a continuous fission chain reaction can be maintained.

The importance of this rating is that it adds a super-premium dimension to the company’s product offering for uses in traditional industrial, lithium-ion battery, primary battery, and advanced industrial markets.

Key upcoming catalysts include the Pre-Feasibility Study which is on schedule to be published in the September quarter 2024.

Graphite deposit details

The Sarytogan Graphite Deposit is in the Karaganda region of Central Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan is an established mining jurisdiction ideally located between the largest battery manufacturers in Europe and China.

An Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource has been estimated at 229 million tonnes at 28.9% total graphitic carbon.

Sarytogan has upgraded the mineralisation to 99.87% purity by chemical purification and to 99.9992% purity by thermal purification, without any chemical pre-treatment.

To be suitable for use as a moderator in nuclear reactors, graphite should be a fine powder at very high purity of 99.995% carbon.

High purity graphite is also used in the nuclear industry in applications other than the moderator including yarns, seals, lubricants, coatings, foils, and reflective materials.

Nuclear graphite market

The global market for nuclear graphite is currently about 60,000 tonnes per annum and is set to grow with the renewed worldwide investment in nuclear power.

Graphite used as nuclear moderators sells at prices of higher than US$25,000 per tonne, a significant premium to graphite used in lithium-ion batteries.

The addition of nuclear applications adds another layer to Sarytogan’s product strategy to place as many units of carbon into as many markets as possible.

Valuation proposition

Sarytogan held $3.9 million in cash at the end of March 2024.

Undiluted shares on issue total 148.7 million, and based on the last trade of $0.175, the market capitalisation is around $26 million.

This provides an enterprise value of $22 million.

 

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