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Australia challenges China's graphite crown in EV batteries

Mines use Sino-US brawl to break into vital anode material market

An electric-vehicle charger: Graphite is used in the batteries that power EVs.   © Reuters

SYDNEY -- A mineral vital to electric vehicle batteries is no longer under China's near-exclusive control, as Australian mines challenge their Chinese counterparts in the extraction and processing of graphite.

Australia's Syrah Resources fired up a graphite processing facility this month in the U.S. state of Louisiana to turn the mineral mined in Mozambique into the precursor for EV battery anodes. The long production chain -- from Africa to North America then on to automakers worldwide -- aims to provide "an option for geographic diversification," says Syrah.

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