ENCOURAGING PHASE 1 BATTERY PERFORMANCE TESTS USING HPA COATED GRAPHITE
Quarterly Activities and Cash Flow Report
For the testing, a batch of battery electrodes were produced using non-coated standard anode grade graphite particles (the control), and a separate batch was produced that contained anode grade graphite particles coated with HPA using Altech's technology. One hundred cycles of cell charge and discharge were completed. Results for the coated graphite anodes compared to the non-coated anodes were positive and encouraging. Test work will now proceed to the next stage where additional runs of battery charge and discharge will be undertaken with the aim of obtaining results that demonstrate repeatability and consistency.
During the December 2020 quarter, Altech announced the successful demonstration of its alumina coating technology - the coating of graphite particles typical of those used in anode applications within lithium-ion batteries (anode grade graphite), with a nano layer of high purity alumina (HPA). The demonstration showed that Altech's technology was able to deposit uniform and consistent layer of alumina onto anode grade graphite particles. The uniformity and consistency of an alumina layer on anode grade graphite is expected to be important to improve lithium-ion battery performance.
HPA is commonly applied as a coating on the separator sheets used within a lithium-ion battery, as alumina coated separators improve battery performance, durability and overall safety.
However, there is an evolving use for alumina within the anode component of the lithium-ion battery because of the positive impacts that alumina coated graphite particles have on battery life and performance.
PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY OF BATTERY MATERIALS HPA COATING PLANT IN GERMANY
Following the successful demonstration of its alumina coating technology in December 2020, in late March 2021 the Company announced that its 75% owned German subsidiary, Altech Industries Germany GmbH (AIG) had commenced a prefeasibility study on the construction of a battery materials high purity alumina (HPA) coating plant in Saxony, Germany.
GREEN BOND OFFERING PROCESS PROGRESSING WELL
Progress on preparations for Altech's proposed listed green bond offering of ~US$144 million were announced during the quarter; preparations progressing well and on schedule. The objective of the green bond offering is to provide an additional layer of financing for the Company's Malaysian high purity alumina (HPA) project.
Altech Advanced Materials AG (AAM)
On 20 April 2021, Altech reached agreement with Altech Advanced Materials AG (AAM) (FRA: AMA1) to extend for a further 12 months (until 1 July, 2022), the expiry date of its option to acquire up to a 49% interest in Altech's Malaysian HPA project for US$100m. Altech also entered into agreements which, subject to certain conditions, allow AAM to defer the payment date for the remaining purchase price installments for the sale of 25% of Altech Industries Germany GmbH (AIG) (refer ASX announcement of 26 October 2020). AAM also announced on 22 April 2021, that it will submit a proposed resolution to shareholders at its Annual General Meeting scheduled for 20 May 2021, to approve a capital increase of EUR6.4 million via the issue of up to 6,452,630 of new shares at EUR1.00 per share, via a pro-rata entitlement offer on the basis of five new shares for each two shares held.
TERMINATION OF CONTROLLED PLACEMENT AGREEMENT (ACUITY CAPITAL)
On 21 April 2021, Altech announced that it had completed a final utilisation of its Controlled Placement Agreement (CPA) with Acuity Capital (Acuity) and has by mutual agreement with Acuity terminated the CPA. Altech received $2.25 million from the offset of all remaining collateral shares (39,266,667) that Acuity was otherwise required to return to the Company upon maturity or early termination of the CPA. The collateral shares were originally issued to Acuity in February 2020, when the CPA was established. The Company also confirms that it and Acuity have been released from any and all obligations under the CPA.
On termination of the CPA Altech managing director Iggy Tan said "the Acuity CPA has served the Company extremely well and provided an innovative, flexible and manageable supplementary funding mechanism over the last 14-months - a period of extremely challenging equity markets. Acuity has been easy to work with and appreciative of the Company's equity requirements and its capital management strategy. The closeout of this facility follows the Company's successful raising of $14.5 million via a Rights Offer that completed in December 2020/January 2021."
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About Altech Chemicals Ltd
Altech Chemicals Limited (ASX:ATC) (FRA:A3Y) is aiming to become one of the world's leading suppliers of 99.99% (4N) high purity alumina (Al2O3) through the construction and operation of a 4,500tpa high purity alumina (HPA) processing plant at Johor, Malaysia. Feedstock for the plant will be sourced from the Company's 100%-owned kaolin deposit at Meckering, Western Australia and shipped to Malaysia.
HPA is a high-value, high margin and highly demanded product as it is the critical ingredient required for the production of synthetic sapphire. Synthetic sapphire is used in the manufacture of substrates for LED lights, semiconductor wafers used in the electronics industry, and scratch-resistant sapphire glass used for wristwatch faces, optical windows and smartphone components. Increasingly HPA is used by lithium-ion battery manufacturers as the coating on the battery's separator, which improves performance, longevity and safety of the battery. With global HPA demand approximately 19,000t (2018), it is estimated that this demand will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% (2018-2028); by 2028 HPA market demand will be approximately 272,000t, driven by the increasing adoption of LEDs worldwide as well as the demand for HPA by lithium-ion battery manufacturers to serve the surging electric vehicle market.
Altech Chemicals Ltd