On April 19, 2022, Westwater Resources Inc. (WWR) took another big step towards its goal of developing a battery-grade graphite manufacturing business in Alabama. Along with its subsidiary, the company broke ground for the construction of its graphite processing plant in Kellyton.
Upon the release of the news, WWR stock surged by a nice 12.27% in the after-hours on Tuesday as investors flocked to it. Thus, the stock was trading at a price of $1.83 per share in the session after it had gained 3.82% in the prior session. A heavy volume of 3.84 million shares was responsible for the uptick in the stock in the late trading session.
WWR’s Kellyton Processing Plant
The company had been working tirelessly towards completing many required milestones before officially breaking ground on its Coosa, Kellyton Processing Plant. Finally, the company’s efforts bore fruits as it broke ground on the plant along with its subsidiary Alabama Graphite Products, LLC. To witness the event, numerous local and other state government officials including Gov. Kay Ivey and Congressman Mike Rogers joined the company.
Being built in Lake Martin Regional Industrial Park in Coosa County, the $202-million plant will process raw graphite into battery grade for use in EV batteries among other products. Upon being fully operational, the plant is expected to yield over 7,500 metric tons of refined graphite annually. Operations are expected to commence by the end of Q3 2023.
The EV boom across the globe in recent years has accelerated the growth of minerals development for use in EV batteries. More and more governments are trending toward electric vehicles and the required infrastructure as the world becomes more aware of the real threat of global warming and the like.
Currently, there are no producers of natural-grade graphite in the U.S. while refined graphite for batteries largely comes from China. Hence, graphite has been declared a critical strategic mineral by the U.S.
Thus, the rising need for a local source along with increasing shift towards EVs is boosting the market opportunity.
Where Does WWR Stand?
The company is well on track to becoming the first fully integrated U.S. domestic graphite producer. Not only this, but the Coosa Plant also comes with a proprietary purification process with little water use and lesser damaging byproducts. Comparatively, the commonly used purification process not only produces extremely damaging byproducts but also involves a huge amount of water. Thus, the company in addition to bringing local products into the industry also has a huge competitive advantage that sets it apart.
With the official groundbreaking of its graphite processing plant, WWR stock enjoyed some nice gains on Tuesday. Furthermore, the company is looking ahead to a bright future as it continues working on establishing and expanding its graphite business amid the ever-increasing demand for a local product rather than imported from outside.