Tesla gears out of China for the precious graphite

Tesla recently signed an agreement with Australia’s Syrah Resources, which operates one of the largest graphite mines in the world located in South Africa.

This is a unique collaboration between an electric vehicle manufacturer and a mineral producer that is particularly critical for lithium-ion batteries. The value of the deal has not been known.

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Tesla will purchase the material from the company’s processing plant in Vidalia, Louisiana, which is procuring graphite from its mine in Balama, Mozambique.

The Austin-based electric vehicle automaker, Texas, plans to buy 80% of the plant’s production — 8,000 tons of graphite annually — from 2025, according to the agreement, while Syrah must prove that the material meets Tesla standards.

Also, the deal is part of Tesla’s plan to strengthen its ability to build its own batteries so it can reduce its dependence on China, which dominates global graphite markets, said Simon Moores from the UK-based battery materials and information data provider, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

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