Talga Resources, Mitsui and LKAB have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) that could see the three jointly develop the Vittangi Anode project, in northern Sweden.
The LoI is a non-binding agreement between the parties whereby, after completing the detailed feasibility study on the project, expected March 2021, and due diligence, LKAB, Talga and Mitsui intend to negotiate a business agreement including ownership and investments in the project.
Talga is the 100% owner of the Vittangi graphite project and proprietary technology for anode battery production. Permit applications for the graphite mine were filed in May 2020.
The ASX-listed company is intent on establishing a European supply of sustainable, low-CO2 emission anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, using its 100% owned Swedish mineral assets and battery material technologies.
Building on the company’s vertically integrated business strategy, the development plan includes construction of a scalable lithium-ion battery anode production facility and integrated graphite mining operations in northern Sweden, with initial production capacity of 19,000 t/y coated anode from an annual ore mining rate of 100,000 t.
LKAB said growth within the industrial minerals market is a strategic activity for the company to reduce its dependence on the iron ore market, which today accounts for around 90% of external sales.
“There is also a clear sustainability-based rationale, coupled with the growth ambition, to recycle and upgrade by-products and waste streams,” the miner said. “Additionally, the growth will be accelerated through selected acquisitions and investments that offer synergies with LKAB’s market, operations and sustainability ambitions.”
Talga, with its proximity to LKAB’s existing mining operations in northern Sweden, may offer synergies with resources, skills and infrastructure, according to LKAB. “There are also potential commercial synergies with sales and distribution, including the developments in the ReeMAP project that will produce both phosphorus and rare earth elements through recycling mine waste.”