Tesla secured an agreement with Melbourne-based Syrah Resources to take the majority of battery-ready graphite from a planned Louisiana production facility.
The facility will supply Tesla with graphite anode material for four years. Tesla also has an option to buy additional volumes subject to further plant expansion.
The Louisiana facility will process graphite imported from Balama, Mozambique. This plant will be the first US-based production plant supplying graphite anodes according to a report by Bloomberg.
Syrah owns both the mine in Mozambique and the facility in Louisiana. The long-term plan for Syrah is to expand the output of the production facility to a minimum of 40,000 tons per year by the middle of the 2020s.
Right now, the vast majority of graphite anode comes from China. However, with demand increasing every year, Tesla is one of the first companies to secure a source and production facility outside of China.
Earlier this month, Tesla asked the US government to waive tariffs on graphite in China as they could not access enough of the material from elsewhere.
The Vidalia plant’s initial 10,000 ton-a-year production rate could supply about 3% of US battery demand by 2025.