Talga Resources has commenced wet commissioning of its Phase 2 pilot scale test facility located in Germany.
Phase 2 is an expansion of Talga's Phase 1 equipment and will involve processing of shaped raw graphite ore from the company's Swedish deposits in slabs up to 50kg in weight each.
As part of the expansion, the company installed additional modified cells to increase total capacity of the facility to 365kg ore feed at a time.
The production process will start by 'unzipping' layers of graphite from Talga's raw ore slabs in electrochemical exfoliation cells. This will be followed by recovery and concentration stages.
During this phase, the company continues to increase and optimise its processing technology in a bid to provide tailored sample materials for industry-based testing.
Upon completing process scale up, Talga hopes to construct its full-scale commercial production facility near its Swedish deposit.
Talga managing director Mark Thompson said: "Commencement of Phase 2 commissioning is an exciting milestone for Talga, marking a transition from setting the foundations and achieving a better understanding of the fundamentals that impact graphene manufacturing, at a scale well beyond that possible in a laboratory".
Before commencing full scale mining in Sweden, graphene and graphite product specifications are expected to be developed and new applications will be identified to improve the performance of existing materials.
The Phase 2 pilot test-work facility expansion uses two semi-continuous cells with 50kg feed capacity each.
Wet commissioning of the Phase 2 cells is in progress and equipment is being constructed for the upcoming recovery and concentration stages, for delivery between April and June 2016.