Australia-based Renascor Resources has secured the Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) approval for its proposed Siviour Graphite mine and concentrator on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

The permit has been granted by South Australia’s Department of Energy and Mining (DEM).

The Siviour mine and concentrator form the upstream component of Renascor’s integrated Siviour Battery Anode Material Project (BAM Project) in South Australia.

Renascor managing director David Christensen said: “Obtaining PEPR approval brings Renascor another key step closer to becoming a producer of 100% Australian-made Purified Spherical Graphite.

“This approval is the culmination of extensive technical, environmental and social investigation over the last 6 years, and satisfies a fundamental condition precedent of the Australian Government’s A$185m loan facility to fund Renascor’s integrated Siviour Battery Anode Material Project.”

The PEPR approval allows Renascor to process up to 1.65m tonnes per annum and produce up to 150,000 tonnes of graphite concentrates per year.

Using graphite concentrates from the Siviour mine and concentrator, the BAM facility will produce purified spherical graphite (PSG), which is used in lithium-ion battery anodes.

Renascor is currently carrying out works at the BAM project, including the optimised BAM study, and resource expansion drilling.

The company is also advancing negotiations for the offtake agreements with anode, battery and electric vehicle manufacturers in Europe, Northeast Asia, and the US.

Furthermore, the Australian government, through Export Finance Australia (EFA), has approved an A$185m ($127m) loan to fund the Siviour BAM project development.

Christensen added: “The timing of the PEPR approval is especially opportune for the Siviour Project, as there is growing potential for substantial upstream bottlenecks in the graphite-anode-battery supply chain due in large part to the lengthier approval process associated with new graphite mining operations relative to rapidly growing anode capacity.”