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Westwater Announces Excellent Results from Independent Tests on Spherical Purified Graphite (SPG) from the Coosa Graphite Project

Apr 11, 2019
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Coosa Graphite Shows “Near Theoretical” Performance

CENTENNIAL, Colo., April 11, 2019Westwater Resources, Inc. (“Westwater,” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: WWR), an energy materials development company, is pleased to provide the independent test results from long-term cycling data conducted on uncoated, spherical purified graphite (SPG) from the Company’s Coosa Graphite Project.

Christopher M. Jones, President and CEO of Westwater Resources, stated “We are pleased with the performance of our spherical graphite materials from the Coosa Graphite Project located in Alabama.  In short, we have produced products for independent testing, these products have performed as designed, and this milestone achievement demonstrates some of the potential of our flagship Coosa Graphite Project. Long-term cycling data is useful for battery manufacturers and provides insights into the parameters that can help us continually improve the performance of our graphite products including our coated spherical purified graphite, thus developing a broader customer base.”

HIGHLIGHTS

  • “Near theoretical” reversible capacity was achieved as 370.11 mAh/g on the first cycle.
  • Purification, micronization, spheronization and sizing was performed on the natural flake graphite from our Coosa Graphite Project utilizing the Company’s proprietary process.  The purity level achieved was 99.95 wt%.
  • Optimization on electrode formulation was achieved to extend the cycling performance.  Testing under prolonged cycling conditions showed that SPG from the Coosa Graphite Project demonstrated stable performance over 150 cycles.
          

    TEST SUMMARY

  • SPG grades were formulated into battery grade coatings and cast on copper foil. 
  • Industry standard CR2016 coin cells were assembled and tested using graphite as the anode versus Li/Li+ counter electrode assembly (half cell). 
  • Low temperature LP81 electrolyte was utilized in the cells. 
  • The upper and lower voltage limits during cycling were 0.01 V and 2 V vs Li/Li+. Charging and discharging current rate was C/20.
  • The properties of SPG from the Coosa Graphite Project are presented in the Table below.
PARAMETER  VALUE (UNITS)
 TRADE NAME  ULTRA-SPG
 LOST ON IGNITION  > 99.95 (wt%) 
 ASH %  < 0.05 (wt%) 
 SCOTT VOLUME  0.51 (g/cm3)
 TAP DENSITY  0.91 (g/cm3)
 BET SURFACE AREA  6.32 m2/g
 D50  18.6 (micrometre)

 










    • Reversible capacity, irreversible capacity and irreversible capacity loss are the most critical metrics for measuring battery performance. These parameters are obtained after the first charge and discharge cycle.
    1. Reversible capacity: 370.11 mAh/g. Considering that 372 mAh/g is a theoretical maximum for natural graphite, the result is “near theoretical” performance.
    2. Irreversible capacity: 416.7 mAh/g.This is the initial charge capacity.
    3. Irreversible capacity loss (ICL): 11.2%.Although this value is acceptable, typical ICL values are less than 10%.However, the irreversible capacity reported here was achieved in a non-optimized low temperature electrolyte composition, and varying the amount of vinylene carbonate can drive the ICL value to the desired goal.
  • The long-term cycling was performed on various formulations to determine the optimum electrode composition, calendared electrode density, active material loading and electrolyte formulation.These optimizations have resulted with stable cycling up to 150 cycles. Irreversible capacity loss after 150 cycles was low.

About Westwater Resources

WWR is focused on developing energy-related materials.  The Company’s battery-materials projects include the Coosa Graphite Project — the most advanced natural flake graphite project in the contiguous United States — and the associated Coosa Graphite Mine located across 41,900 acres (~17,000 hectares) in east-central Alabama.  In addition, the Company maintains lithium mineral properties in three prospective lithium brine basins in Nevada and Utah. Westwater’s uranium projects are located in Texas and New Mexico.  In Texas, the Company has two licensed and currently idled uranium processing facilities and approximately 11,000 acres (~4,400 hectares) of prospective in-situ recovery uranium projects.  In New Mexico, the Company controls mineral rights encompassing approximately 188,700 acres (~76,000 hectares) in the prolific Grants Mineral Belt, which is one of the largest concentrations of sandstone-hosted uranium deposits in the world.  Incorporated in 1977 as Uranium Resources, Inc., Westwater also owns an extensive uranium information database of historic drill hole logs, assay certificates, maps and technical reports for the western United States.  For more information, visit www.westwaterresources.net.

Cautionary Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are identified by words such as “expects,” “estimates,” “projects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” and other similar words. All statements addressing events or developments that WWR expects or anticipates will occur in the future, including but not limited to statements relating to the future performance of the Company’s spherical purified graphite, from the Coosa Graphite Project or otherwise, are forward-looking statements.  Because they are forward-looking, they should be evaluated in light of important risk factors and uncertainties.  These risk factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, (a) the Company’s ability to successfully integrate Alabama Graphite Corporation’s business into its own, and the risk that additional analysis of the Coosa Graphite Project may result in revisions to the findings of WWR’s initial optimization study; (b) the Company’s ability to raise additional capital in the future; (c) spot price and long-term contract price of graphite, lithium, vanadium and uranium; (d) risks associated with our domestic operations; (e) operating conditions at the Company’s projects; (f) government and tribal regulation of the graphite industry, the lithium industry, the vanadium industry, the uranium industry, and the power industry; (g) world-wide graphite, lithium, vanadium and uranium supply and demand, including the supply and demand for lithium-based batteries; (h) maintaining sufficient financial assurance in the form of sufficiently collateralized surety instruments; (i) unanticipated geological, processing, regulatory and legal or other problems the Company may encounter in the jurisdictions where the Company operates or intends to operate, including in Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada; (j) the ability of the Company to enter into and successfully close acquisitions or other material transactions; (k) the results of the Company’s lithium brine exploration activities at the Columbus Basin, Railroad Valley, and Sal Rica projects, and the possibility that future exploration results may be materially less promising than initial exploration result; (I) any graphite, lithium, vanadium or uranium discoveries not being in high-enough concentration to make it economic to extract the metals; (m) currently pending or new litigation or arbitration; and (n) other factors which are more fully described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize or should any of the Company’s underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those currently anticipated. In addition, undue reliance should not be placed on the Company’s forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, the Company disclaims any obligation to update or publicly announce any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this news release. The results of the initial optimization study are preliminary in nature and subject to revision following WWR’s further analysis of the Coosa Graphite Project.

Westwater Resources Contact: Investor Relations Contact:
Christopher M. Jones, President & CEO
Phone: 303.531.0480
Jeff Vigil, VP Finance & CFO
Phone: 303.531.0481
Email:Info@WestwaterResources.net
Michael Porter, Porter, LeVay and Rose
Phone: 212.564.4700


Email:Westwater@plrinvest.com