Graphene Manufacturing Group (GMG) has announced a binding joint development agreement (JDA) worth A$6mln with Rio Tinto, one of the largest mining companies in the world. The company hopes to expedite the development of applications for its graphene + aluminium batteries (G+AL) in heavy mobile equipment in the mining industry such as for drills, excavators, and trucks. This could mark an important step to the wider commercialisation of GMG’s core technology through a proof-of-concept industry application of its technology, primarily its G+AL pouch cell batteries.
GMG produces high-quality graphene at scale from natural gas via its proprietary process. It is using graphene to develop advanced G+AL batteries for a range of applications. G+AL batteries are not yet commercial, but, as the remaining technical and scale-up challenges are resolved, G+AL could have a massive market opportunity given its core technical advantages over dominant lithium technologies.
The JDA, building on the non-binding agreement with Rio Tinto from May 2022, is an important financial and strategic step towards the commercialisation of GMG’s core technology. Rio Tinto will provide technical and operational performance criteria by which GMG can adapt and reconfigure its batteries in line with industry and company-specific requirements. This includes a A$6mln facility spread over two years from Rio Tinto for preferential access rights to G+AL batteries, and this cash should give the company important reliable revenue alongside revenues from its Thermal XR graphene coatings line to fund its growing operations.
The agreement should also help offset development costs for its pouch cell batteries and de-risk future industrial application development with other companies, removing potential barriers to entry. The agreement shows the attractiveness of GMG and its technology in facilitating the transition to net zero for industrial partners.