Lomiko Metals has successfully completed half-cell coin battery testing of its La Loutre graphite material with Polaris Battery Labs. Polaris prepared La Loutre’s coated spherical purified graphite (cSPG) material from flotation concentrate samples and subjected it to half-cell coin testing to determine its basic material electrochemical performance metrics.
The total mass of cSPG provided was approximately 160g and originated from coated purified samples generated by the Corem Innovation Centre in Quebec, Canada. These samples were micronized and spheronized by ProGraphite in Germany and are deemed representative of the La Loutre deposit. Polaris will continue the test program in 2024.
“These initial results from half-cell battery testing (the Polaris Study) confirm excellent graphite properties, thus providing conditions for Lomiko to progress into Phase 2 project activities to produce and test single-layer pouch cells,” said Belinda Labatte, CEO and Interim Chair of the Board at Lomiko Metals. “These are full cells using our graphite anode material tested against an industry-relevant cathode material. The Polaris studies are another step we are taking as a part of an approach to assessing the suitability of our graphite anode materials in a full-cell format. As the Company grows in its journey as a partner and developer of choice in Quebec, it will further review the applications for its graphite in North America and the energy transition.”
Lomiko is completing the entire ‘rock-to-battery’ testing cycle as part of its Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS). The half-cell battery testing is now complete with exceptional results, and it’s continuing with the graphite anode pouch cell construction and testing in Phase 2 with Polaris. Concurrent with these studies, Lomiko is also working on the NRC Study announced on July 27, 2023, which aims to advance pre-feasibility level battery trials with its La Loutre natural flake graphite concentrate.”
Summary of the Lomiko metallurgical tests
The testing cycle started in the summer of 2022 with 640 kg of drill core provided from the existing core storage. These core samples originated from both the Battery and EV zones of the La Loutre deposit and are considered representative.
The first study, The ProGraphite Characterization Study, was performed on flotation concentrate that was produced at SGS Lakefield from the 640kg core samples. Various PFS level metallurgical tests and a study were completed, including optimization of the flotation circuit, resulting in achieving 94.7% recovery and reconciled Locked Cycle Testing (LCT) grades at 99.1%Cg. The work was directed by Metpro Management.
In the second study, The ProGraphite SPG Study, testing was completed on a 10.5 kg bulk flotation sample prepared by SGS Canada.
ProGraphite, Germany, used this sample for micronization, spheroidization, and purification testing to produce spheroidized and purified graphite (SPG), which is the material required for the anode in electric vehicles (EVs). All physical characterization tests produced excellent results, such as narrow particle size distribution range and high tap density and met the target values for Electric Vehicle and other lithium-ion based battery applications.
Two purification methods were investigated on the La Loutre SPG, namely alkaline and acid purification. A total of 100 g of the SPG20 spherical graphite was subjected to intensive alkaline purification.
The micronized and spheronized graphite was then purified and carbon coated by Corem to produce 160g each of coated spherical graphite cSPG16 & cSPG20 for the Polaris Study.
The Polaris study
In The Polaris Coin Cell Study, cSPG batches were sent to Polaris in Oregon for battery testing, including half-cell coin and pouch battery testing. At this point, Lomiko is reporting only on the half-cell test results.
Highlights of this study:
- Reversible delithiation capacity at C/10 of ~356 mAh/g and ~358mA/h, which is above the commercial reference graphite material testing at an average 345mA/h. C-rating describes the current the battery will deliver over the specific period, with C/10 being 10 hours.
- All half-cell coin batteries were constructed using a batch of 20g of cSPG casted on a Cu current collector and 304SS CR2032 coin cell can components.
- Both SPG16 and SPG20 outperform the commercial reference in achievable gravimetric capacity which means that with the electrochemical performance results produced by Polaris, Lomiko has now successfully demonstrated the full value chain from ore to battery anode material on samples from the La Loutre project.
In Phase 2, cathode and prepared anodes will be combined into a single-layer pouch cell format to undergo a basic testing regime with possible extended testing, which will allow Lomiko to demonstrate technical specifications to meet battery manufacturing requirements.
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Filed Under: Batteries, Technology News, Testing and Safety