|Black Rock Mining Chief Commercial Officer Greg Wheeler, left, poses with Faru Graphite CEO Alimiya Osman Munge, center, and POSCO International Vice President Kim Byung-hwi during a signing ceremony for the partnership on graphite supply in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Sept. 1. Courtesy of POSCO International|
By Kim Jae-heun
POSCO International signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Canadian and Australian mining companies to procure raw materials for its secondary battery business, the company said Monday.
Company officials visited Madagascar and Tanzania from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2 to establish a graphite supply chain in Africa by utilizing its overseas network to serve as a platform for sourcing key raw materials.
"We were able to confidently start the project of establishing the secondary battery materials supply chain there due to our 25 years of global experience in the nonferrous metal business. The company will use its capabilities as a business developer and trader to complete the secondary battery value chain of the group and contribute to national resources security," a POSCO International official said.
It first signed a business agreement for joint investment in the Molo graphite mine in Toliara, Madagascar, with Canadian mining company NextSource.
POSCO expects to procure 30,000 tons of flaky graphite annually, or 15,000 tons of spherical graphite per year, produced in the Molo mine for the next 10 years. The secured raw materials will be supplied to POSCO FutureM, a secondary battery firm of the group.
The Molo mine, owned by NextSource, is considered one of the top-tier mines in Madagascar with graphite reserves of about 22 million tons.
The production line to produce 1.7 million tons of graphite annually was established in February this year, and is now in commercial operation. More than 150,000 tons of flaky graphite will be produced there per year starting in 2026.
On Sept. 1, POSC signed a second MOU in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to participate in the capital increase of Australia's Black Rock Mining company and discuss the expanding number of natural graphite purchases to 60,000 tons per year.
Black Rock Mining has the world's second-largest natural graphite mine. In May, POSCO signed a supply contract with the Australian company to procure a total of 750,000 tons of natural graphite ― about 30,000 tons per year for the next 25 years ― by investing $10 million (13.1 billion won) in the Mahenge graphite project.