Syrah Resources announced on Friday the start of active anode material (AAM) production at its Vidalia facility in Louisiana.
This makes the graphite miner the first commercial-scale vertically integrated natural graphite AAM supplier outside China, said CEO Shaun Verner.
Vidalia processes natural graphite from Syrah’s Balama graphite operations in Mozambique.
Syrah is expected to supply 8 kilotonnes per annum (kpta) of AAM from Vidalia to Tesla under an existing offtake agreement, subject to production ramp-up and finalizing qualification.
The miner is progressing the expansion of Vidalia to 45 ktpa capacity, inclusive of 11.25 ktpa, to readiness for a final investment decision.
The company said it has produced unpurified spherical graphite from the front-end milling area since October 2023 to build inventory of precursor value-added material in preparation for the commissioning of the purification and furnace areas in January 2024.
The first purified spherical graphite material was produced in late January 2024.
The heating cycle for the first furnace line commenced in early January 2024, and carbonization of Syrah’s first pitch-coated purified spherical graphite is now complete.
Syrah has applied to the US Department of Energy (DOE) for an additional loan of $350 million under DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program to support funding of the Vidalia expansion project, and DOE is progressing due diligence.
Shares of Syrah were down 3.3% by 12:10 p.m. EDT. The company has a market capitalization of $238 million.