Mineral Commodities boosts graphite resource quality

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Traelen graphite is loaded at the Skaland port for Mineral Commodities. Credit: File

A re-evaluation of the mineral resource at Mineral Commodities Traelen graphite project in Norway has almost doubled the likely size of the measured and indicated portion of the resource, indicating a life of at least 13 years for the mine that rates as one of the world’s highest-grade graphite operations. Graphite is a critical component in electric vehicle battery manufacture and largely makes up the anode in a lithium battery.

The Perth-based company says the total measured and indicated resource at the project has jumped by 92 per cent from its maiden 409,000 tonne resources to now stand at 786,000 tonnes.

The original maiden assessment of the total resource which includes “inferred” status material was 1.78 million tonnes at an impressive 22 per cent total graphitic carbon, or TGC for 397,000 tonnes of contained graphite. The revised JORC estimate upgraded the resource to 1.84 million tonnes at 23.6 per cent TGC for 434,000 tonnes of contained graphite.

The maiden ore reserve estimate just tabled is even more impressive in terms of grade coming in at 640,000 tonnes at 24.8 per cent TGC for 159,000 tonnes of contained graphite.

Incredibly the measured portion of the resource is going over 30 per cent graphite.

Mineral Commodities embarked on a 3,000 metre drilling campaign between March and August 2021 targeting 17 holes within the existing development area to support the updated mineral resource estimate.

The company started development of a decline in June 2021 to gain access to down-dip resources. This work is expected to be completed this month and a mining contractor has been engaged to take on the down-dip development beneath the mined-out up-dip resource. The decline will also provide a platform for more drilling next year to target expansion of the resource.

This geostrategic, high-grade graphite ore deposit is the foundation of our battery minerals development strategy in Europe. Skaland is the highest-grade operating graphite mine in the world but importantly it’s the major source of local graphite for the Europe Economic Area. As we invest in the expansion of this ore body, we invest in our ability to secure this critical raw material for European battery supply and put ourselves on the pathway to become Europe’s first vertically integrated producer of natural graphite anode material.

Mineral Commodities Chief Executive Officer Jacob Deysel

Mineral Commodities acquired the Traelen deposit as part of its purchase of Skaland Graphite in 2019. There had been no previous JORC resource estimate at the project which has been mined since 2007. The Skaland project also comprises processing facilities and port infrastructure on the island of Senja in northern Norway.

The maiden ore reserve indicates that at current concentrate production rates, the Traelen project has a mine life of 13 years according to the company. However, it says it is looking at options for expanding Skaland reserves and processing and production rates. Further drilling and resource updates will be carried out next year to determine the potential for expansion.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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