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Seemingly on a weekly basis, we read reports of Tesla lining up new sources of raw materials around the world. The latest news comes from an Australian firm called Syrah Resources, which has signed a binding offtake agreement with Tesla to supply natural graphite Active Anode Material (AAM) from its vertically integrated AAM production facility in Vidalia, Louisiana.
Tesla will buy the majority of the proposed initial expansion of AAM production capacity at Vidalia at a fixed price for an initial term of four years, and also has an option to add additional volume from Vidalia, subject to Syrah expanding its capacity beyond 10 kilotons per year.
Syrah is also working with other customers to develop Vidalia AAM for mass production.
The Vidalia plant will process natural graphite concentrate shipped from Syrah’s Balama mine in Mozambique. The Balama graphite operation features a high reserve grade (16% total graphitic carbon), and the product mix includes jumbo, large and medium flake for industrial applications and fines.
Syrah will transport the natural graphite concentrate from Balama to Vidalia, where it will be processed into a spherical shape and purified to produce an anode precursor material. The precursor material will then be coated and heat-treated to produce a finished AAM.