Evolution Energy Minerals (ASX:EV1) reports its first Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) shows the comparatively low environmental impact of flake graphite production at the Chilalo Graphite Project, located in Tanzania.
The cradle-to-gate LCA for Chilalo assessed the life cycle impact of the production of 1kg of flake graphite concentrate (95% to 97% C) produced from natural flake graphite ore extracted at the project.
The contribution of each component of mining, processing and transport to the overall global warming potential was measured at 0.55kg of CO2 per kg of flake graphite concentrate.
Mining activities contributed 0.21kg of CO2 per kg of flake graphite concentrate, processing activities contributed 0.27kg of CO2 per kg of flake graphite concentrate; and transport activities contributed 0.07kg of CO2 per kg of flake graphite concentrate.
The company reports that even on this ‘peak’ basis, the LCA for Chilalo ‘demonstrates’ that the project will have lower emissions than comparative production in other parts of the world, namely China, in particular the Heilongjiang Province, where more than 50% of the world’s graphite is produced.
Research conducted by LCA consulting company Minviro shows Evolution emits 0.01kg more of CO2 per kg of flake graphite concentrate compared to Syrah Resource’s Balama Graphite Project in Mozambique.
The Heilongjiang Province Graphite mines produce nearly double this figure at 0.96kg of CO2 per kg of flake graphite concentrate.
Mining and processing contribute the highest levels due to the modelled use of diesel fuel in the 2020 DFS.
The global warming potential was broken down by scopes 1, 2 and 3, and the top contributors of scope 1 emissions was the combustion of diesel for the haulage fleet and co-generation sets within the mining and processing stages.
There were no scope 2 emissions for the Chilalo Project due to no energy being imported to site.
The top contributors of scope 3 emissions are the embodied impact of producing diesel used for the haulage fleet and electricity source, as well as the embodied impact of producing the reagents consumed within the concentration process.
Transport contributes to the downstream scope 3 emissions of transporting the flake graphite concentrate to the port of Dar es Salaam.
The LCA was based on the 2020 Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and therefore does not incorporate the low carbon footprint reductions that will result from the decision to introduce renewable power in the upcoming DFS.
The results provide a benchmark that Evolution assesses as the peak measure given that it is based on the use of diesel fuel for energy generation.
The company believes that mitigation initiatives, including the introduction of renewable power will ‘likely’ result in lower emissions in subsequent reviews.
The impact of transporting graphite concentrate from Chilalo to Port has been removed, so the system boundaries of the comparison scenarios are ‘sufficiently’ similar, and comparisons can be made on a like-for-like basis.
Evolution Energy Minerals Managing Director Phil Hoskins said the company’s vision is to supply sustainably sourced graphite products and battery materials.
“Completion of Minviro’s initial LCA is the first stepping stone in our aspirations to develop Chilalo as a net zero carbon graphite mine”
“Completion of Minviro’s initial LCA is the first stepping stone in our aspirations to develop Chilalo as a net zero carbon graphite mine.
“We now understand our highest carbon footprint scenario based on the 2020 DFS, which had assumed diesel power generation.
Reducing our carbon footprint has been front of mind during the optimisation of our DFS and we expect the introduction of renewables along with other operational efficiencies to deliver an industry leading result when we update the LCA.”
Evolution Energy Minerals is an Australian graphite producer that owns the Chilalo Graphite Project, located in southeast Tanzania.
Its vision is to become a vertically integrated company that will only supply sustainably sourced graphite products and battery materials, and this will be achieved by combining its graphite source with industry leading technology partners, and working closely with customers and producing diversified downstream products in Tanzania and strategically located manufacturing hubs around the world.
Evolution is committed to being global leaders in ESG and ensuring its operations support the push for decarbonisation and the global green economy.