Ltd has nearly tripled the
graphite mineral resource at its Woxna graphite mine in
Sweden, which it successfully restarted last year.
Measured and indicated resources have
increased to around 7.7m tonnes at an average grade of 9.3% C,
up from 2.8m tonnes identified previously.
The expanded resource is entirely
encompassed within the company’s fully granted
mining lease, including the Gropabo and Mattsmyra deposits, and
adds to the mineralisation previously identified at the
Kringelruvan site, announced last September. All are within the
vicinity of the operational Woxna mine.
"Expanding the resource base so close to
our fully operational processing plant at Woxna will provide
more flexibility and confidence when planning for future
expansions for the current 13,000 [tpa] graphite production
capacity," said Flinders CEO, Blair Way.
The company has been producing graphite
products for the European market since July last year and the
mine officially reopened in September
2014, but Flinders is yet to secure an offtake for its
In the synthetic graphite industry,
Germany’s SGL Group reported
a loss of €16.5m ($18.5m*) for Q1 2015, an improvement on
the €24.4m loss it posted for the same quarter last
The company, which makes graphite
electrodes for the steel industry as well as advanced carbon
materials and carbon fibres, described the result as a "solid
start" to the year. SGL attributed the narrower loss to its
cost savings programme, implemented in order to combat "a
continuing difficult environment" for its core electrodes
Recurring group EBIT** improved from
€0.9m in Q1 2014 to €5.1m for the latest quarter. SGL
said that its carbon fibres and materials segment was moving
closer to break-even, which helped its quarterly figures,
however this was partially offset by a decline in sales of
performance products and a slow start to the year for graphite
materials and systems.
SGL’s US-based rival, GrafTech International
Ltd, also reported a loss for the first quarter of the
year – recording negative earnings of $55.6m, or
$0.10/share on an adjusted basis, for the three months to the
end of March.
The figure was twice as bad as Wall Street
estimates for the struggling graphite electrodes producer,
which pointed to an expected average loss of $0.05/share, and
four and half times lower than the $12m loss GrafTech posted in
the prior-year period.
Revenues for Parma, Ohio-headquartered
GrafTech came in at $207.3m, down 26% on Q1 2014, when it
brought in $281m. Adjusted EBITDA*** for the quarter was $17m,
compared to $33m a year ago.
"As we moved through the first quarter,
graphite electrode demand continued to soften as global
electric arc furnace (EAF) steel production weakened," said
GrafTech’s CEO, Joe Hawthorn. He added that he
expected the steel market to remain challenging for its
electrode business throughout 2015.
Back on the exploration front, ASX-listed
Ltd has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Shenzen Qianhai Zhongjin
Group Co. Ltd to receive up to $200m in funding to
build a 200,000 tpa graphite concentrate operation at its
Nicanda Hill project in Mozambique.
Qianhai Zhongjin, a Chinese equity firm
and resources trading house, has agreed to a proposed funding
package on a 50:50 debt to equity basis and to an offtake
agreement of 200,000 tpa graphite from Nicanda Hill for an
initial term of 10 years.
Separately, Triton also announced this
week that metallurgical tests on samples from its Ancuabe
graphite licences, also in Mozambique, have confirmed that 92%
of the discrete mass particles of the samples were larger than
100 mesh in size.
Total graphitic carbon recoveries of up to
96.1% were also recorded from flotation tests on the ore, while
a graphite concentrate grade of 98.7% C was achieved following
a single bead mill regrind and four cleaner stages of
Canada-headquartered Next Graphite Inc.
has released a preliminary economic analysis (PEA) of its above
ground assets at the Aukam graphite property in Namibia.
Next said that the PEA indicated the
mining and processing costs for the project will be around
$487/tonne, with a 17-year life of mine based on a $2,500 tpa
operation. This can be increased to 5,000 or 10,000 tpa by
installing parallel processing lines.
Preliminary design of the processing
circuit and equipment has been estimated to cost around $1m,
plus annual operating costs.
In graphene news, TSX-V-listed Lomiko Metals
Inc. investment partner Graphene 3D Labs
Inc. has developed a water-soluble 3D filament.
Water-soluble filaments are primarily used
to occupy negative space during the 3D printing process,
filling gaps and allowing the print to be suspended over air,
Lomiko explained in a press release. Once printing has been
completed, the printed object can be placed in water, causing
the filaments to dissolve and leaving empty space.
The company told IM that
the filament is not based on graphene, but on an undisclosed
polymer technology developed by 3D Labs.
Lomiko is invested in Graphene 3D Labs
through its subsidiary, Lomiko Technologies Inc., which holds
nearly 4.4m shares in the graphene inks developer.
Finally, Saint Jean Carbon
Inc. has signed an LOI with Spanish graphene producer
Graphenea SA which provides that Saint Jean Carbon will
distribute graphene products to customers in the Canadian
Canada-based Saint Jean, which is
developing a number of graphite properties in Quebec, said that
the aim of the deal is to expand its presence in the emerging
*Conversion made April
**Earnings before interest
***Earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation and amortisation