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Westwater and Japan's Dainen Materials Sign Basic Agreement on Graphite Supply

Westwater Resources, a U.S. company engaged in the exploration and development of mineral resources, signed a letter of intent with Japan's Dainen Materials on June 7 to supply and purchase coated refined spheroidal graphite.

Graphite is a material for batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs) and is the largest raw material by mass, surpassing copper, nickel, manganese, cobalt, and lithium. China holds a high share of the market in terms of production volume. Dainen supplies high-performance natural graphite anode material to a major Japanese manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for EVs. Westwater plans to supply CSPG to Dainen in the future from its Kerryton graphite processing plant under construction in Middle Alabama.

Westwater Chairman Terrence Cryan stated, "With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the economic incentives for domestic procurement of critical battery materials such as graphite, major battery industry players have shown strong interest in our business. Dainen's Executive Officer Hajime Okui said, "We are encouraged by Westwater's initial testing of CSPG. We look forward to supporting the material certification with Japanese automakers.

On May 9, Westwater also announced a joint development agreement with SK Onn, a leading Korean EV battery manufacturer. If the development is successful, the two companies are expected to enter into contract negotiations for the sale of CSPG anode materials manufactured at the Kerryton Graphite Processing Plant in Alabama. When Chairman Cryan announced the joint development agreement with SK ON, he stated, "After the IRA was approved, many battery manufacturers are looking to secure North American anode materials from our Kellyton plant. In addition, Westwater has decided to double the plant's production capacity in order to meet the increased customer demand resulting from the IRA.


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