Uley graphite project, Mega Graphite Inc.
Paul Ogilvie, CEO, Mega Graphite Inc.
In August 2011, Mega
Graphite Inc. acquired 100% of the Uley project on the
Eyre Peninsula in South Australia from Strategic Energy
Resources. The company began mining in late 2011 and
expects to produce around 12,000 tpa graphite in
In addition to Uley, Mega
has a number of projects in the pipeline; it is
developing several properties in Ontario, Canada,
including the Bedford and Burgess sites. In September
2011, Mega also entered into a joint venture with
Chotanagpur Graphite Industries to produce purified
graphite from CGIs properties in Jharkhand,
eastern India. IM spoke to CEO, Paul
What are the latest developments at
For 2012 well produce about 12,000 tonnes
graphite and the mill itself will be starting up in
about a month from now [mid-March 2012]. Our sales
department has been working on the project for quite
some time; were 100% sold out of material for the
next three years.
We are a high-grade
facility, so were not too interested in selling
concentrate - because of our proprietary
technologies - so most of our production is going
into high grade applications.
These are very fine, high
quality materials - for batteries, stainless
steel, water filtration, metallurgy, aerospace
applications, and so on. Theres a small amount
going into lubricants and refractories but its
not really our big concentration as a business.
Were mining specifically for our customers.
What stage is your joint venture in India
There is an active operation in India right now, but
our jv is to build a new operation and high grade
The Indian mill will
produce about 5,000 tpa of very high quality materials,
and as it stands right now all of that material will be
sold to one customer only for lithium-ion batteries.
All of the Indian material is presold to one customer
that weve worked with for a long time and we have
engineered specific materials for them.
Youre also working on graphite projects
in Canada. How are these progressing?
One of our properties, Burgess, was an operational mine
in the 1950s. Because the area is so geographically
desirable [between Montreal and Toronto], we take a lot
of materials off the property that we use to build
battery grade materials with. From an operation
standpoint it will be a couple of years before any sort
of regular production is started at the Canadian
We have finished an
analysis of the operation at the Kingston properties,
and the materials being brought into the Kingston site
where we will be doing all of the milling. Instead of
operating through one large mine well be
operating through six or seven smaller pits and then
bringing that material in.
were working in Montreal this year to build our
pilot upgrade facilities for battery grade
When will your Initial Public Offering take
Well be public at the end of March 2012.
Were fairly different to everybody else in this
space because of our sheer size and by actually being
in the market. The biggest thing that the finance
industry has had to get its head around is that
were half a mining, half a technology company.
Weve had fully independent valuations of our
company, which no one else has ever done, as that was
the best way for our investment bankers to get their
heads around how they value our technology.
because companies say that they will, eg. make battery
grade materials, but if you havent done it yet
you cant say youre going to. Its
taken us three years. Number one, we hold the patents.
Number two, once youve got the patents you have
to make them into an actual pilot facility that builds
hundreds of tonnes.
So until you get these
certifications you cant really say youre
going to make this material. We have proprietary
technologies that nobody else has; now maybe other
people can figure them out but it will take them
What are the other major challenges for
entering the graphite industry?
I think anybody getting into this space has to be very
cautious of why theyre getting into it. They
should also be customer-centric and find a customer
that theyre actually building materials for.