Talga Resources (ASX:TLG) discusses its high-grade graphite resource

Interviews

by Carolyn Herbert

Talga Resources Limited (ASX:TLG) Managing Director, Mark Thompson, talks about the company’s graphite/graphene resource in Sweden and European-based R&D programs to commercialise graphene products by next year for major global industrial sectors.


Talga Resources Limited (ASX:TLG) Managing Director, Mark Thompson, talks about the company’s graphite/graphene resource in Sweden and European-based R&D programs to commercialise graphene products by next year for major global industrial sectors.

The summary of Talga Resources Limited (ASX:TLG) would be that we’re an ASX listed company that’s in the technology minerals space. So we have the world’s highest-grade resource of graphite, which we make a bulk graphene from, in a unique process using a unique ore. Based in Sweden, we process in Germany with a pilot plant and we produce material. So in that way, we’re a vertically integrated advanced material producer, that’s exposing these conductive materials into the battery, to construction sectors.

Apart from our being the highest-grade deposit in the world, we’re also located in Sweden, which is a different jurisdiction to a lot of deposits. It’s got sensational logistics and direct links, direct road and rail links into Europe and a very high amount of green power available for mine development. Also we’re vertically integrated, we actually use our special processing technique to make the graphenes and graphites. But we also have an internal science team that can make products from those graphenes. So we’re now making value-added graphene products for everything from the battery sector, to the construction and coating sector.

Currently we’ve just completed our second test-mining program and that’s feeding a pilot plant that we’ve got operating in Germany. That’s making large samples for customer development and producing actual graphene enhanced products. So what we’re doing is we’re using that to commercialise material, basically this year. So we’ll be testing revenue opportunities in 2017.

The market for graphite in all its forms is about a million tonnes per annum, and graphenes are sort of in an early stage of development. So there’s maybe up to a thousand tonnes a year being produced, at the moment. But our market is actually the current materials market that’s currently things like zircon, zinc, copper. So it’s many times larger than that. So the applications for graphene can be, in coatings alone, a 40 million tonne market, but it's a new market for the actual material.

So these forms of carbon can make things stronger or lighter, or more conductive. And so anything that needs to be stronger or lighter, or more conductive; graphene and some of our related graphites can go into those products. And therefore, it’s not really so much around where the market is for graphenes now, it’s about what other minerals are being used currently to do those jobs, and we can replace them. The incumbent materials can be replaced with our graphene products.

Our current collaborations are with a range of people across the four sectors we’re targeting, batteries is certainly a key component of that. And that includes all battery technologies, so not just lithium-ion, but also things like flow batteries. Also we’re exposed to the clean tech sector there in related conductive inks as well. We currently have collaborations underway with some global giants like the Tata Group. But we also have collaborations with start-up companies, who have got shareholders or relationships with big entities, such as Haydale Limited (LON:HAYD), which is an AIM-listed company that’s got a relationship to Huntsman Corporation (NYSE:HUN), who make 'Araldite' (TM). They’re a very large epoxy producer in the world. So most of our collaborations are very strategic at the moment, and we’re expecting to develop those a lot further very soon.

In 12 months I’d like to see Talga massively rerated in value to reflect some of the numbers, from our previous economic studies. I think primarily, we will continue building the ship so it sets sail. And what that means is, we’ll be delivering cargoes through 2017. Meaning we’ll be delivering products, which will then be getting collaborations and commercial agreements, so that people can see the real potential of the revenue from this business. So by the end of 2017, I think that will be complete.


Ends

Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presents the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.