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Madagascar: NextSource Materials picks Mauritius to house its first EV battery anode plant in Africa

Thursday, 11 April 2024 19:16
Madagascar: NextSource Materials picks Mauritius to house its first EV battery anode plant in Africa

(Ecofin Agency) - Amidst a raging competition for graphite which is a key element of EV batteries, companies active in Africa look for ways to make more money. NextSource, which is active in Madagascar, wants to invest more in processing.

NextSource Materials, the company operating the Molo graphite mine in Madagascar, announced this week the signing of a long-term lease agreement to set up its first Battery Anode Facility (BAF) in the Freeport Zone of Port Louis, Mauritius. Battery anodes are typically produced from graphite materials capable of efficiently storing and releasing electric charges during the battery's charging and discharging process.

In a statement dated April 10, NextSource Materials explained that the Mauritian site was chosen following a comprehensive selection process. The selection was based on key criteria including the site’s operational, financial, and logistics benefits.

Already, the firm is taking steps to secure an environmental permit, as well as an update on the economic evaluation of this plant. Once it secures the permit, NextSource Materials will ship the equipment needed to set up the BAF to Mauritius. The first tons of graphite concentrate from the Molo mine are already on the island.

NextSource's decision to focus on battery anode production contrasts with that of other graphite-producing companies in Africa, which simply sell their raw material. Moreover, many other producers looking to position themselves in this value chain prefer to install their plants outside the continent.

For example, Syrah Resources, active in Africa's largest graphite mine, Balama in Mozambique, has installed an anode material plant in Vidalia, US. Meanwhile, Volt Resources plans to build and commission a plant, also in the US, with a capacity of 10,250 tons per year for the production of anode powder from Bunyu graphite.

The Molo graphite mine commenced production in 2023 and operates at a nominal capacity of 17,000 tons per year. In December 2023, NextSource released the results of a feasibility study for the expansion of the mine to increase the annual capacity to 150,000 tons, requiring an investment of $161.7 million.

Louis-Nino Kansoun



Public Management

ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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