Alabama Graphite Products, a subsidiary of Colorado-based Westwater Resources, has started construction on the first-of-its-kind graphite processing plant in Kellyton, Ala. Once fully operational, it is expected to produce 7,500 metric tons of refined graphite annually.
The $202 million plant will process raw graphite into refined, battery-grade graphite for use in batteries that power electric vehicles, electronics and other products. Westwater Resources said the plant will use a proprietary process to purify the feedstock and refine it into battery-grade graphite. This process, company officials note, is safer and more environmentally friendly and sustainable than the hydrofluoric acid-based process commonly used in China and elsewhere.
In addition to the processing plant, Alabama Graphite plans to continue advanced exploration activities of a graphite deposit in western Coosa County in the Alabama Graphite Belt. Mining operations are expected to begin by the end of 2028. The processing plant will import feed graphite acquired from high-quality sources until then since commercial-level graphite mining does not currently exist in the U.S.
Alabama Graphite’s processing plant is expected to begin operations by the end of the second quarter of 2023.
Source: Westwater Resources