|12/11/2015 by mdc|
|Eagle Graphite Incorporated owns one of only two natural flake graphite production facilities located in North America. The Black Crystal quarry and processing plant, 35 km west of Nelson, British Columbia,just north of the Washington border, is production-ready with permits and a 5-year quarry plan in place.|
The Black Crystal facility is the only graphite producer operating in the burgeoning electric vehicle market of western North America. The quarry host material is naturally well-suited to low-energy, low environmental impact processing that in turn produces high-purity graphite flake products for use in both conventional and emerging industries.
Eagle Graphite is currently focused on two key elements of its long term business strategy. Through exploration at both the established quarry site, and at new exploration targets immediately adjacent to the plant facility, Eagle Graphite plans to expand its 2014 resource estimate. It is also conducting work to show that Black Crystal graphite is suitable for use in lithium-ion batteries.
The majority of graphite production comes from hard rock deposits, from which graphite extraction is a laborious and expensive process. The standard processing method for battery-grade graphite uses hydrofluoric acid, a highly reactive and dangerous material.
In current market for lithium-ion batteries, natural graphite supplies come almost exclusively from China and the most prevalent way to purify that graphite is through the use of hydrofluoric acid, which is cheap, but environmentally expensive. So are the byproducts. Conscientious use means even greater costs to handle the waste products which can be quite expensive. Rather than a hard rock or clay-type deposit, the Black Crystal quarry is composed of an alkaline sandy material with loose graphite flakes that are easily separated from the host material. In contrast to hard rock deposits, Black Crystal requires no costly mitigation of environmentally hazardous waste.