Westwater Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq: WWR), an energy materials development company, announced that testing of its ULTRA-PMG (purified micronized graphite) product by a major battery manufacturer has resulted in a request for a bulk sample of one metric tonne for further qualification testing. While our Non-Disclosure Agreement prevents Westwater from disclosing the manufacturer’s name, we are able to say that this advancement is a major milestone in our battery graphite development.
Produced from natural crystalline flake graphite, our ULTRA-PMG is used as an additive to increase the conductivity of cathodes in several types of batteries including primary lithium, alkaline and lead-acid batteries. The ULTRA-PMG™ is designed to enhance the performance of these types of batteries which can give the manufacturers a competitive advantage.
Product qualification testing by battery manufacturers is typically a staged program, with each test dependent upon the success of the last. Laboratory-scale samples (a few grams in size) are tested for performance, and once successful, samples of a kilogram (2.2 pounds) in size are tested. As these tests are successful, manufacturers then ask for a bulk sample of material, commonly in the one metric tonne (2,204 pounds) size range. Since 2016 we have been providing samples to potential customers of our graphite products for testing. Some of these tests are still underway and we celebrate this milestone test result and material request.
Christopher M. Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Our team has successfully produced high-performing graphite for battery manufacturers and now can celebrate meeting this major milestone. This manufacturer has requested that we provide a one metric tonne sample at Westwater’s earliest opportunity. This request, coupled with our product development with other companies, promises a bright future for Westwater as energy storage becomes the critical enabling technology for renewable energy and electric transportation development and implementation.”
The request by this important potential customer of a large scale sample is a significant step forward in our Company’s ongoing efforts to become a premier supplier of very high-quality battery-grade graphite materials. Further, it is a strong indication of the high quality of the graphite products that we have developed to meet the requirements of the worldwide battery manufacturing industry, and it further positions Westwater to meet its objective of becoming a reliable producer and supplier of battery grade graphite materials.
Our Company’s next step is to construct and operate a pilot plant. Westwater intends to produce our full suite of products from the pilot, including our ULTRA-PMG, ULTRA-DEXDG and ULTRA-CSPG battery graphite materials. This pilot will serve two critical purposes in the development of our project.