Battery Minerals (ASX: BAT) now has 80% of production from its Montepuez graphite project in Mozambique covered by sales contracts after inking its fourth deal in just over a month.
The company today announced it had signed a binding offtake agreement with China-based private company Qingdao Keshuo New Materials Technology (Keshuo) to supply 10,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate per year for an initial three years.
Keshuo specialises in the production of spherical graphite products, as well as anode materials for China’s major lithium ion battery manufacturers. The company is expected to supply 30,000t of spherical graphite and 30,000t of anode products in 2018, with the aim of growing to 50,000t of each in 2019.
“Keshuo’s status as a leading battery anode producer means this agreement is particularly important because it reflects the high quality of the Montepuez graphite,” Battery executive chairman David Flanagan said.
Last week, Battery Minerals inked deals with Qingdao Black Dragon Graphite and Qingdao Guangxing for 10,000t per annum each over three-year terms.
These deals are in addition to the first offtake agreement signed in mid-December with Arizona-based Urbix Resources for up to 11,000t of graphite concentrate per year for three years, starting in 2019.
The Montepuez project in Mozambique is on track to commence production by December 2018, with the first shipment of graphite concentrate anticipated in the March 2019 quarter.
According to Flanagan, Battery Minerals is in the process of finalising its mining licence which is expected to be granted during this current quarter.
In the first stage of production, the company is aiming to produce up to 50,000tpa of graphite concentrate with an average flake concentrate grade of 96.7% total graphitic carbon.
Following planned expansions, Battery Minerals has projected output to grow to more than 100,000tpa by 2022.
Shares in Battery Minerals jumped 18.6% on the news of this fourth deal by afternoon trade on Monday.