The UK government has approved a ~$1.2-million grant for Talga Resources (ASX: TLG) to complete a feasibility study into the commerciality of an anode refinery in Great Britain.
The grant is part of a series of economic stimulus packages, which include a £1-billion Automotive Transformation Fund aimed at boosting the domestic electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery economy.
The study that Talga plans to conduct with the grant will assess the commercial feasibility of a UK refinery to produce Talga’s flagship anode product Talnode-C for local Li-ion battery manufacturers.
In a press release, the Australian company said that a UK Talnode-C production facility would share a feedstock with Talga’s planned Swedish anode refinery by importing natural flake graphite, in the form of a concentrate, from its Vittangi operation near Kiruna in northern Sweden.
“With the UK having no known graphite deposits feasible to make battery anodes, and Benchmark Mineral Intelligence foreseeing UK capacity requiring ~200,000tpa by 2027, Talga’s large and high-grade resources offer a strategic and local supply,” the media brief states.
“The study, commencing immediately and planned for completion by late March 2021, will focus on engineering, permitting, renewable energy access and economic feasibility work. If found feasible, the local Talga Talnode-C refinery would provide secure, cost-effective and sustainable active anode material for a more self-sufficient UK electric vehicle industry.”
As part of the study, Talga said management is working on identifying potential UK refinery sites within pre-existing industrial parks to streamline the regulatory process and construction phase, and positively impact required capital and operating expenditure.
Should the study outcomes be favourable, then it is expected that an investment memorandum for capital funding, under the Automotive Transformation Fund capital investment scheme or other public and private funding, be prepared.
“Talga is already engaged with multiple parties in funding discussions for its Swedish Vittangi anode project and the company will look to extend these discussions to cover a potential UK based operation,” the company said.