22/03/2016 - 14:48

Graphite hopefuls talk up prospects

22/03/2016 - 14:48

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Local explorers Black Rock Mining and Anson Resources have shed some light on their path towards producing graphite at their respective projects.

Black Rock's Mahenge graphite project in Tanzania.

Local explorers Black Rock Mining and Anson Resources have shed some light on their path towards producing graphite at their respective projects.

Black Rock has today released the results of a scoping study on its Mahenge project in Tanzania, revealing a capital cost of $US57 million ($A75 million) to bring the project into production within the next one-to-two years.

Speaking at the inaugural Paydirt 2016 Australian Graphite Conference in Perth today, Black Rock managing director Steven Tambanis said the scoping study had delivered robust results including a straight-forward mining and processing operation delivering 52,000 tonne per annum graphite concentrate from a 500,000tpa throughput, and a two-year payback.

“Mahenge offers the flexibility to initially develop a smaller mine then scale-up as demand increases, ensuring lower capital and lower risk,” Mr Tambanis said.

“The large flake size and high purity of Mahenge graphite tested to date suggests that Mahenge graphite can be applied to the premium battery market as well as traditional applications.”

Cash costs for Mahenge were set at $US458/t, with an expected sale price of about $US1,230/t.

Speaking at the same conference today, Bruce Richardson, the managing director of graphite hopeful Anson Resources, said the company hopes to begin producing at its $US56 million ($A73.5 million) Walcott project near Geraldton by the middle of next year.

Mr Richardson said heritage clearance on Walcott would begin next month.

“The capital requirements for Walcott of $US56 million for a 25,000tpa graphite concentrate operation are the second lowest of the current nine major Australian-owned graphite developer pushing new projects here and overseas,” he said.

“Critically, Walcott is close to all existing road, rail and port infrastructure at Geraldton – an existing export port and that is a considerable economic advantage for bringing Walcott into production.”

Black Rock and Anson both closed unchanged at 6 cents and 1.5 cents each respectively.

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