PERTH, Western Australia (DEC. 20, 2021) — Graphite producer and battery anode material developer Volt Resources Limited (ASX: VRC) (“Volt” or “the Company”) is pleased to advise it is in the process of entering into a strategic collaboration with advanced alkaline battery producer, Urban Electric Power (“UEP”). Under a Joint Development Agreement (“JDA”) currently in preparation, UEP, Volt and its technology partner in the United States, American Energy Technologies Co. (“AETC”), will collaborate on the development of new technologies using non-spherical purified graphite for conductivity enhancement and ultra-high-purity graphite-based coatings to improve alkaline battery performance. Notably this will improve the alkaline battery performance while benefitting the end users – consumers of UEP’s alkaline battery technologies – by offering a more attractive cost structure than the currently available industry solutions on the market.
The companies expect to finalize and execute the JDA in January 2022. Following the successful completion of the graphite technology programs for use in alkaline batteries, UEP and Volt plan to enter into an offtake agreement for the supply of ultra-high-purity graphite-based coatings and additives in addition to potential licensing benefits derived from the intellectual property developed.
The non-spherical purified graphite is made as a by-product of the spheroidization of purified graphite when producing lithium-ion battery anode material (“BAM”). Volt is leveraging the ‘inverted’ flowsheet developed by AETC to produce not only spherical purified graphite for lithiumion batteries, but also non-spherical material that can be used in applications such as conductivity enhancement and other specialty uses3.
The development of non-spherical graphite products for the alkaline battery market will improve the economics of Volt’s planned BAM facilities in the US and Europe leveraging our current flake graphite production capability from the Zavalievsky graphite business located in Europe combined with the Bunyu graphite project development in Tanzania.
Urban Electric Power Chief Technology Advisor, Alex Couzis, commented: “Urban Electric Power is enthusiastic about the opportunity to collaborate with Volt and its technology partner in the United States, American Energy Technologies Co. Volt is a very innovative company in the area of graphite’s and mixing and they’re open culture toward collaboration is inspiring.”
Volt Managing Director, Trevor Matthews, commented: “We are excited about the opportunity to work with Urban Electric Power to develop commercially based technologies to improve alkaline battery performance and lower costs. Volt views the alkaline battery market as a tremendous opportunity to participate in a sector with annual sales of US$7.5 billion.”
This collaboration introduces Volt to the US battery market and the board expects the JDA will accelerate the commercialization of Volt’s downstream value-added graphite products in various battery applications.”