Graphite concentrates exceed 99% purity for Black Rock

Tanzania-based graphite developer Black Rock Mining has completed metallurgical optimisation studies in China with engineering, procurement and construction, or “EPC”, partner Yantai Jinyaun, delivering a graphite concentrate exceeding 99% purity at 93% overall recovery from its flagship Mahenge ore deposit.

Application of Chinese technology has further optimised circuit design for processing the high-quality Mahenge ores and resulted in an improved graphite flake distribution, whilst preserving the exceptional concentrate grades.

On the delivery of a final flowsheet and metallurgical plan, Yantai will conduct a 20-tonne pilot plant test to validate the optimised design under continuous operating conditions.

The flow sheet will be reviewed and approved by CPC Engineering and Design, before the final authority to operate the pilot plant is granted.

CPC Engineering completed the Mahenge DFS on behalf of Black Rock, reported in October last year. 

According to the company, successful operation of the pilot plant by Yantai is likely to lead to the award of an EPC contract with certain performance warranties, USD$20m of vendor support and up to a further USD$20m in vendor-sponsored external support.

Black Rock also said that potential offtake customers from China, Korea and Japan were scheduled to visit the pilot plant over the coming weeks, to conduct due diligence.

Company CEO John de Vries said: “Being able to demonstrate the efficacy and performance of our Mahenge ore to deliver the world’s highest-grade concentrates, by our Chinese partners, is a significant step in validating our credentials in our most important offtake market.”

“The operation of a pilot plant in front of investors and our offtake partners is a novel step in project financing, however leaves absolutely no doubt as to expected asset and product performance, which we are confident of achieving.”

“We are … delighted with how the three-way relationship between Black Rock, Yantai Jinyuan Mining Machinery and CPC Engineering and Design has matured. The levels of cooperation and strategic planning provides me with a lot of confidence in our ability to deliver in full, on time and to specification.”

“We continue to see interest in financing Mahenge. Solid progress on de-risking our project delivery and awarding of the mining licences will support continued progress to developing a funding solution for Mahenge.”

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