Pioneers of graphite production and development, Volt Resources Ltd, has announced joining the European Raw Materials Alliance, greatly enhancing the European value chain.
Volt Resources has an illustrious history in sustainably exploring, developing, and mining gold and other materials and has recently transitioned into the graphite industry, acquiring a 70% controlling stake in the Zavalievsky Group (ZG) of companies in Ukraine.
Their newfound allegiance with the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA), which the EU established in 2020, signifies a considerable step in Volt Resources becoming an integral part of the European raw materials value chain. The partnership will also provide the company with access to project investment, in addition to regulatory and technical advice and support.
At the forefront of graphite development
The procurement of the major graphite project has not only gained Volt Resources access to an exclusive group – the European Raw Materials Alliance – but has also placed the company at the forefront of supplying the crucial and precious resources that will fuel Europe’s green transition and aid in achieving its carbon-neutral goals by 2050. Prior to this partnership, Volt Resources joined the European Battery Alliance, another significant move that put the company on the European map of sustainability.
Trevor Matthews, the Managing Director of Volt Resources, said: “With the acquisition of the Zavalievsky graphite business completed and our status as a producer of graphite products in Europe, membership of the two key EU sponsored battery materials alliances provide the opportunity to build relationships and obtain access to capital to support the expansion and product development plans for the European graphite business.
“Combined with the future production of graphite products from the development-ready Bunyu Project in Tanzania and plans for processing capacity to supply the LIB industry in the United States, we will be uniquely positioned as a globally significant and diversified graphite producer.”
Becoming integral to the European raw materials value chain
The ERMA is comprised of public and private companies that represent all sectors of Europe’s raw materials value chain, with the objective of significantly enhancing the capacity to sustainably produce fuel cells, batteries, rare earth magnets, and motors, with the project targeting expansion beyond the European Union.
The EU and Ukraine have developed a strategic raw materials partnership, an ambitious endeavour in which they intend to achieve closer integration of the raw material and battery value chains. They believe this will help strengthen and diversify the supply chains of critical raw materials across both industries, which is pivotal for ensuring the green transition.
In the vanguard of this battle for carbon-neutrality is Volt Resources, whose controlling stake in the ZG Group has provided the company with a major graphite mine and processing facilities in Zavallya, Ukraine. The site is situated around 280km south of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and 230km north of the country’s principal port in Odesa, making it the ideal location for distributing to key markets.
The mine has been producing high-quality graphite for decades, generating a green, purified product of 99.5% total graphite content (TGC) and has room for upscaling production. The Graphite mine has an annual production capacity of up to 30,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate or product, with ZG the eighth largest natural flake graphite producer in 2014. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, graphite oversupply, and low investment, this production capacity has decreased in recent years; however, the investment from Volt Resources looks to ramp up production significantly, both in terms of volume and sustainable practices.
Matthews said: “We plan to improve the performance of the business with close attention to improved environmental management and sustainable operations, including programs to minimise the operation’s carbon footprint, development of stakeholder relationships and social investment combined with improved governance throughout ZG.”
In addition to being in proximity to vital markets, such as European electric vehicle manufacturers, Volt Resources is planning to produce its own battery anode materials from its existing graphite production, which will make it a fully integrated supplier to European LIB cell manufacturers.