Battery Minerals’ second graphite operation, Balama Central in Mozambique, will cost just $US69.4 million ($96 million) to develop and boast a mine life of 27 years, a feasibility study has shown.
It aims to produce 58,000 tonnes per year of dry graphite concentrate.
Balama Central is described as a “top-class project”, with some of the best product sizing classification, operating costs, concentrate purity and economic returns in the graphite sector.
It immediately adjoins the world’s largest graphite export operation, which is being delivered into all the world’s major lithium-ion battery manufacturing markets.
This area is one of the world’s most important suppliers of minerals which are essential to the assembly of lithium ion batteries, Battery Minerals managing director David Flanagan said.
The project will be developed once Montepuez, Battery Minerals’ first Mozambican graphite project is commissioned.
Battery Minerals said it expected to deliver Montepuez’s first graphite shipment within 12–15 months of completing its full project financing, which was still progressing.
Flanagan said, “Given that leading industry forecasters expect graphite prices to increase as a result of substantial supply shortages over the next few years, we see a significant opportunity to grow the forecast cashflows from our two projects.
“Lithium-ion batteries currently cannot be manufactured without graphite. We are completely focused on being among the world’s most competitive suppliers of this essential product while we also … help deliver a revolution in electric vehicles and renewable energy.”
Balama Central’s $US69.4 million cost has already included an open mine pit, waste and mineralised waste mine dumps, mine services area, process plant, non-process plant infrastructure, tailings storage facility, camp and water storage facilities.
The project is expected to generate average cashflow of $US35 million a year, generating a payback period of only two to three years.
Balama Central is in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique where Syrah Resources’ Balama graphite project is also located.