Black Rock Mining to develop new Tanzania graphite mine within 12 - 24 months

Australia’s Black Rock Mining expects to develop a low cost, long life US$57 million graphite mine within the next 12 to 24 months.

The mine's graphite product will be aimed at key high demand and emergent high technology centres in Europe.

This follows the recent release of a highly positive scoping study into Black Rock Mining’s Mahenge project at the inaugural Paydirt 2016 Australian Graphite Conference in Perth.

At 131 Mt @ 7.9% TGC with high grade portions of 37.6 Mt @10.2% or 16.7 Mt@ 11.1%, Mahenge is the fourth largest flake graphite JORC resource in the world and the highest grade graphite project in Tanzania.

Addressing conference delegates, Black Rock MD Steven Tambanis, said the scoping study had delivered robust results including a straight forward mining and processing operation delivering 52 000 tpa graphite concentrate from a 500 000 tpa throughput, and a two year payback.

The study identified scope for a 25 year mine life, an NPV of >$285 million, and an internal rate of return of 62%.

Cash costs for Mahenge were set at $458/t, with an expected sale price of around $1 230/t.

The independent scoping study was undertaken by consultancy, BatteryLimits.

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

“The project exhibits a high proportion of coarse and jumbo flake and has excellent purity levels in the 96-98% range for coarse flake. This is a premium graphite product and buoyed by today’s scoping study outcomes, we have already commenced the pre-feasibility study.

“Mahenge’s metallurgical results to date exceed expectations and significant improvements are expected as our test program continues to optimise the process route.”

Perth-based Black Rock Mining will undertake a final 30 drill hole programme at Mahenge next month to increase the deposit’s proportion of Indicated resource and to define more high-grade tonnes.

”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,” Tambanis said.

”As well as the PFS, Black Rock Mining has also commenced our graphite marketing initiatives to parallel our objective of financing, constructing and commissioning this new Tanzanian mine within two years.

“We will ensure however, that we fully understand just what product Mahenge can consistently produce over the long mine life so that we can match its graphite attributes specifically to customer requirements.

“This will ensure off-take is linked to planned production levels, as we envisage selling a range of graphite products into different applications.”


Posted on : 06 Apr,2016

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