Graphite is a versatile non-metallic mineral that has seen an increased amount of attention in recent times. Its versatility is due to is properties of electrical and thermal conductivity, inertness and resistance to corrosion and high temperatures. Graphite is beneficiated from it ores usually through several stages of froth flotation in order to produce a product of appropriate specification. Once a graphite concentrate is produced, it is sold and usually processed elsewhere by further refining methods such as acid leaching, alkali thermal treatment or a combined roast and leach process.
Graphite’s properties allow it to be used for batteries, steelmaking, brake linings, lubricants, refractories and foundry facings. The end use of graphite is often dictated by the product specifications which include graphitic carbon content, flake size and other physical properties. Graphite is one of the key components for lithium batteries, often consuming more graphite than lithium and other battery metals.