A recent alliance between a graphite explorer and a 3D printing company has laid the groundwork for a new R&D program.
Kibaran Resources, owner of the Epanko graphite deposit in Tanzania, has signed a formal strategic alliance with 3D Group to establish a new research and development company called 3D Graphtech Industries.
Jointly owned on a 50/50 basis, Graphtech will largely be concerned with pursuing patents and partnerships to investigate the application of graphite and graphene in 3D printing.
Graphite for the program will be sourced from Kibaran’s Tanzanian graphite projects, such as the Mahenge and Merelani deposits where Kibaran has been finding graphite with high crystallinity, and purity of 99.9 per cent carbon, which is well-suited to the production of graphene.
According to Kibaran, graphene is projected to revolutionise 3D printing due to its unique structure, strength and conductivity.
Graphene is a better conductor of electricity than copper.
Kibaran Resources executive director Andrew Spinks said he was very pleased about the new alliance with 3D Group, which is considered a well-respected organisation in the Australian 3D printing sector.
“While development of the company’s Epanko graphite deposit and other graphite assets in Tanzania remains Kibaran’s primary focus, this R&D initiative provides Kibaran with a vehicle to participate in the exciting future developments of graphite and graphene,” he said.
“Kibaran is currently in preliminary discussions with a renowned research institution, with a view to augment the alliance’s participation in the innovation and application of graphite and graphene in the 3D printing process.”
Kibaran also has interests in nickel sulphide exploration, with full rights to the underexplored Kagera Nickel Project in Tanzania, which is located along strike of the Xstrata-owned Kabanga nickel deposit.
Kibaran is currently trading at 22c on the ASX.