KIBARAN Resources has signed an agreement with 3D Group to research and develop graphite and graphene 3D printing technology.
The agreement sees the two companies jointly funding a new R&D firm called 3D Graphtech Industries, which will pursue patents and collaborative partnerships that investigate the application of graphite and graphene in 3D printing.
The graphite for the R&D program will be sourced from Kibaran's Tanzanian projects.
According to the companies, the 3D printing industry is evolving rapidly, with accelerating technological development forecast to drive the market value from the current US$3.8 billion to US$16.2 billion by 2018.
Graphene, with its one-atom thick structure coupled with its strength, flexibility and improved electrical conductivity, has particular potential for 3D printing.
Kibaran is developing its graphite deposits in Tanzania, with the aim of becoming a stable and secure supplier of natural flake graphite. The coarse flake size, high crystallinity and purity of +99.9% carbon makes its graphite well suited for the production of graphene.