Westwater’s Coosa Project Graphite Performs Well Over Extended Period Testing

U.S. Made Coated Spherical Purified Graphite Performs Better Than
Chinese Control Sample Over 200+ Cycles

CENTENNIAL, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%24WWR&src=ctag" target="_blank"gt;$WWRlt;/agt; lt;a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/graphite?src=hash" target="_blank"gt;#graphitelt;/agt;–Westwater Resources, Inc. (“Westwater,” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq:
WWR)
, an energy materials development company, is pleased to
provide the long-term cycling data obtained by independent tests
conducted on coated spherical purified natural crystalline graphite
(ULTRA-CSPG) from the Company’s Coosa Graphite Project.


Christopher M. Jones, President and CEO of Westwater Resources, stated:
“We are proud to be among the first in the graphite development space to
release long-term cycling performance results of our purified coated
natural flake spherical graphite materials from our Coosa Graphite
Project. We are not aware of anyone ever to date to report long-term
cycling data for U.S. sourced natural flake graphite materials. We are
also pleased that the test results showed continued improvements on the
irreversible capacity loss compared to tests completed on Coosa
ULTRA-CSPG in 2016.”

“The lithium-ion battery market growth we see worldwide is driven by the
fast-growing market for electric vehicles. Every major automaker in the
world either has an electric vehicle product line, or is considering the
development of one. We are excited to be part of this growth, and these
positive tests of ULTRA-CSPG mean that we are one large step closer to
commercialization.”

As indicated in Westwater’s news release on April 11, 2019, electrode
formulation for the half cells utilizing the uncoated spherical graphite
(SPG) was optimized and tested. These tests showed positive long-term
cycling performance although uncoated SPG is not directly used in
battery operations. For lithium-ion batteries, coated spherical graphite
like our ULTRA-CSPG is used as an anode material. Westwater’s ULTRA-CSPG
is sourced and manufactured exclusively from the Company’s Coosa
Graphite Project property, located in Coosa County, Alabama, USA.
Testing details are presented below.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TEST RESULTS

  • Extremely low irreversible capacity loss of 4.03% due to optimized
    electrode formulation.
  • First ever long-term cycling data on U.S. sourced CSPG.
  • Very stable cycling performance over 200 cycles.
  • Superior performance compared to the leading CSPG originated from
    China.

TEST SUMMARY

  • Purification, micronization, spheronization, classification and
    surface coating of our natural flake graphite from the Coosa Graphite
    Project were achieved through the Company’s innovative, proprietary
    specialty processes. The purity level achieved was greater than 99.95
    wt%.
  • ULTRA-CSPG grades were formulated into the battery grade coatings and
    cast on copper foil. CR2016 coin cells were assembled and tested using
    the graphite as anode versus Li/Li+ counter electrode
    assembly (half-cell). Low temperature LP81 electrolyte from BASF was
    utilized in the cells. The upper and lower voltage limits during
    cycling was 0.01 V and 2 V vs Li/Li+. Charging and
    discharging current rate was C/20.
  • The properties of ULTRA-CSPG from the Coosa Graphite Project are
    presented in the table below.
                PARAMETER                 VALUE (UNITS)
TRADE NAME                 ULTRA-CSPG
LOSS ON IGNITION > 99.95 (wt%)
ASH% < 0.05 (wt%)
SCOTT VOLUME 0.59 (g/cm3)
TAP DENSITY 0.93 (g/cm3)
BET SURFACE AREA 2.1 m2/g
D50

18.9 (micrometer)

 
  • Reversible capacity, irreversible capacity and irreversible capacity
    loss are the most critical metrics for measuring battery performance.
    These parameters are obtained after the first charge and discharge
    cycle. Figure 1 shows the initial galvanostatic cycling results for
    the first 2 cycles.
                a.     Reversible capacity: 359.9 mAh/g.
 
b. Irreversible capacity: 375 mAh/g. This is the initial charge
capacity.
 
c. Irreversible capacity loss (ICL): 4.03% which yields 95.97%
efficiency. This remarkably low ICL value is achieved by
optimization of electrode composition, calendared density, active
material loading and electrode formulation. In 2016, the tests
performed on Coosa ULTRA-CSPG indicated ICL as 5.09% with 94.91%
efficiency. The present formulations improved the ICL value.
 
  • The long-term cycling tests were performed on optimized formulations
    and the results are presented in Figure 2. As shown, our ULTRA-CSPG
    showed stable cycling performance over 200 cycles. The overall
    reversible capacity reduction of ULTRA-CSPG over the 200+ cycles was
    estimated as 342.65 / 351.2 = 2.43%. Consistent with commonly accepted
    conventions of the battery industry, cycling is typically run until
    80% of the initial reversible capacity is reached. Stated ultra-low
    degradation upon prolonged cycling is a very positive sign. This
    ability to maintain low degradation may enable Coosa material to
    qualify for use as anodes in batteries with greatly extended cycle
    life of beyond 1,000 cycles.
  • Long-term cycling data was benchmarked against electrochemical
    performance of leading coated natural spheroidal graphite originated
    from Hunan province in China. The performance of ULTRA-CSPG exceeded
    the performance of the Chinese control sample over the 200 cycles.
  • These tests were conducted by a leading independent North American
    energy materials laboratory specializing in research and development
    on industrial graphite, carbon and batteries.

About Westwater Resources

WWR is focused on developing energy-related materials. The Company’s
battery-materials projects include the Coosa Graphite Project — the most
advanced natural flake graphite project in the contiguous United States
— and the associated Coosa Graphite Mine located across 41,900 acres
(~17,000 hectares) in east-central Alabama. In addition, the Company
maintains lithium mineral properties in three prospective lithium brine
basins in Nevada and Utah. Westwater’s uranium projects are located in
Texas and New Mexico. In Texas, the Company has two licensed and
currently idled uranium processing facilities and approximately 11,000
acres (~4,400 hectares) of prospective in-situ recovery uranium
projects. In New Mexico, the Company controls mineral rights
encompassing approximately 188,700 acres (~76,000 hectares) in the
prolific Grants Mineral Belt, which is one of the largest concentrations
of sandstone-hosted uranium deposits in the world. Incorporated in 1977
as Uranium Resources, Inc., Westwater also owns an extensive uranium
information database of historic drill hole logs, assay certificates,
maps and technical reports for the western United States. For more
information, visit www.westwaterresources.net.

Cautionary Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking
statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are
identified by words such as “expects,” “estimates,” “projects,”
“anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” and other similar words. All
statements addressing events or developments that WWR expects or
anticipates will occur in the future, including but not limited to
statements relating to the future performance of the Company’s coated
spherical purified graphite, from the Coosa Graphite Project or
otherwise, are forward-looking statements. Because they are
forward-looking, they should be evaluated in light of important risk
factors and uncertainties. These risk factors and uncertainties include,
but are not limited to, (a) the Company’s ability to successfully
integrate Alabama Graphite Corporation’s business into its own, and the
risk that additional analysis of the Coosa Graphite Project may result
in revisions to the findings of WWR’s initial optimization study; (b)
the Company’s ability to raise additional capital in the future; (c)
spot price and long-term contract price of graphite, lithium, vanadium
and uranium; (d) risks associated with our domestic operations; (e)
operating conditions at the Company’s projects; (f) government and
tribal regulation of the graphite industry, the lithium industry, the
vanadium industry, the uranium industry, and the power industry; (g)
world-wide graphite, lithium, vanadium and uranium supply and demand,
including the supply and demand for lithium-based batteries; (h)
maintaining sufficient financial assurance in the form of sufficiently
collateralized surety instruments; (i) unanticipated geological,
processing, regulatory and legal or other problems the Company may
encounter in the jurisdictions where the Company operates or intends to
operate, including in Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada; (j)
the ability of the Company to enter into and successfully close
acquisitions or other material transactions; (k) the results of the
Company’s lithium brine exploration activities at the Columbus Basin,
Railroad Valley, and Sal Rica projects, and the possibility that future
exploration results may be materially less promising than initial
exploration result; (I) any graphite, lithium, vanadium or uranium
discoveries not being in high-enough concentration to make it economic
to extract the metals; (m) currently pending or new litigation or
arbitration; and (n) other factors which are more fully described in the
Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q,
and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should
one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize or should any of
the Company’s underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may
vary materially from those currently anticipated. In addition, undue
reliance should not be placed on the Company’s forward-looking
statements. Except as required by law, the Company disclaims any
obligation to update or publicly announce any revisions to any of the
forward-looking statements contained in this news release. The results
of the initial optimization study are preliminary in nature and subject
to revision following WWR’s further analysis of the Coosa Graphite
Project.

Contacts

Westwater Resources Contact:
Christopher M. Jones, President
& CEO
Phone: 303.531.0480

Jeff Vigil, VP Finance & CFO
Phone: 303.531.0481
Email: Info@WestwaterResources.net

Investor Relations Contact:
Michael Porter
Porter,
LeVay and Rose
Phone: 212.564.4700
Email: Westwater@plrinvest.com

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