Mustang Resources is on track for first production at the Caula graphite project in Mozambique by the middle of next year.
A strategic review of Caula by Mustang’s new managing director Bernard Olivier has also established that stage one of the mine will produce vanadium concentrate, which will either be sold or stockpiled for further processing to high-purity vanadium products as part of stage two.
The review was conducted alongside a project concept study, which is scheduled for completion in the June 2018 quarter.
According to Mustang, key findings of the review included that Caula contains an exceptional combination of both high grade and large flake sizes.
The review also found that the vanadium content of the ore represents an additional cashflow opportunity, and that the most effective way to develop Caula would involve a two-stage process.
The stage one development strategy involves a low-cost mining operation producing 100,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of ore for 10,000–15,000t/y of high-grade graphite concentrate.
“From the start of operations, vanadium will be extracted to a concentrate. This will be sold to a vanadium producer or stockpiled for future production of refined vanadium pentoxide chemicals,” Mustang reported in an ASX announcement.
The stage two strategy involves expansion of the operations to between 300,000–600,000t/y of ore, as well as construction of a processing plant capable of delivering 50,000–75,000t/y of high-grade graphite concentrate.
Mustang would also construct a full-scale vanadium concentrate processing plant capable of producing refined vanadium products under the stage two strategy.