Shares of micro-cap Westwater Resources Inc. WWR, +90.32% rose about 100% in afternoon trade Tuesday, after the company said it has taken delivery of an initial batch of 20 metric tonnes of graphite concentrate and will now start to send samples to battery manufacturers for testing. Chief Executive Christopher Jones said battery companies will test samples of differing weights to make sure they are compatible with their equipment. "It’s a big milestone," he said. Westwater was founded 40 years as a uranium producer but changed its name in 2017 to reflect a broader focus on energy materials, including lithium and graphite. In September, the company announced a long-term purchase agreement for high-purity, natural flake graphite concentrate for its planned Advanced Battery Materials Processing Facility at the Coosa Graphite Project in Alabama. The company posted a net loss of $2.8 million, or $1.81 a share, for its most recent quarter, down from $20.5 million, or $25.64 a share, in the year-earlier period, when it booked a nearly $18 million impairment charge for uranium mineral interests. On its second-quarter earnings call, Jones said a major battery manufacturer that was testing the company’s ULTRA-Purified Micronized Graphite had requested a bulk sample 1 metric ton in size battery-grade graphite for further testing. "At the same time, we also have laboratory testing ongoing with additional potential customers. We are also among the first in the graphite development space who released long-term cycling performance results of our spheronized graphite materials from our Coosa Graphite Project," he told analysts, according to a FactSet transcript. "We’re not aware of anyone to-date to report long-term cycling data for U.S.-sourced natural flake graphite materials." Shares have gained 75% in the past month, while the Russell 2000 small-cap index RUT, +1.37% has fallen 3.3%.
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