Syrah Resources Expects Jump in Mozambique Graphite Purchases Ahead of China Ban

Syrah Resources said it expects buyers outside of China to step up their purchases of natural graphite it extracts in Mozambique before stricter export controls on the battery material came into effect on December 1.

China, the world’s largest graphite producer and exporter, will require export permits as of Dec. 1 for some graphite products, including spherical graphite used by electric vehicle makers.

Syrah, which has a supply deal with Tesla, mines graphite at its Balama operations in Mozambique and is building a plant in Louisiana where it will produce active anode material (AAM) for batteries. In May, it paused mining at Balama after oversupply hit prices.

Syrah Resumes Operation at Balama Mine in Mozambique

The export controls could mean that automakers and suppliers of battery materials will have to accelerate their search for alterative sources of the mineral.

Syrah said in a statement that, based on feedback from its customers and analysts, buyers are looking to stockpile graphite to reduce the risk of near-term supply disruptions ahead of the ban, and ahead of China’s winter when it tends to produce less natural graphite.

“Any disruption or reduction in China anode precursor or AAM export supply without replacement supply would impact battery production outside China,” it said.

Syrah Resources Restarts Graphite Production in Mozambique

Uncertainties regarding the impact of the controls on Chinese supply is expected to continue into 2024, Syrah added, but for now, it does not expect any near-term “meaningful” impact demand from China on its Mozambique project.

“Although the impacts of implementation are not yet known, the announced graphite export controls in China are increasing Government and private sector attention on the strategic importance of Syrah as a unique ex-China natural graphite and AAM supplier in the battery supply chain,” the company said in a statement.

 

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