Australian Syrah Resources Ltd will supply Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company with graphite anode material over an initial four-year period, with an option to buy additional volumes subject to further expansion of Syrah’s plant in Vidalia, Louisiana.
The Vidalia facility is planned to process graphite from Mozambique to become the first source of graphite anodes in the US amid the fast-growing global demand for electric vehicles. According to BloombergNEF, demand for graphite anode material is set to increase fivefold by the end of the decade. Currently, China produces almost all of the graphite used in producing materials for anodes.
Earlier in the month, Tesla asked the US government to abandon tariffs on graphite from China, arguing that the company was unable to access enough material from elsewhere.
According to industry estimates cited by Syrah, the Vidalia plant’s initial 10,000 tonne-a-year production rate would be enough to supply approximately 3% of US-based battery demand by 2025.