(Reuters) - Australia’s Kibaran Resources Ltd said on Tuesday its proposed production facility at Kwinana, near Perth in Western Australia, would manufacture battery graphite worth $72 million a year for export.
The company said an engineering study had found the plant would be financially and technically robust, and it forecast an up-front capital cost of $22.8 million for initial production of 5,000 tonnes a year.
Further out, production could be expanded to 20,000 tonnes a year of battery-grade graphite at a cost of $49.2 million, it said.
The graphite processed at the facility will be exported to lithium-ion battery customers in Asia, Europe and the United States.
The graphite-focused explorer said the plant was estimated to generate annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $35 million.
Kibaran will now seek to secure funding and environmental approvals for the facility, it said in a statement.
Asian battery manufacturers have been turning to battery metals miners in Australia, ahead of expected shortages as demand for electric vehicles revs up.
Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin