TSX-V-listed Zenyatta Ventures
Ltd has released the results of the long-awaited
preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on its Albany
graphite property in Ontario, Canada, which concluded that
the project should be advanced to the prefeasibility
The PEA, which excluded the feasibility of underground mining,
estimated that an open pit operation at Albany would have a
mine life of 22 years, based on less than 50% of the indicated
and inferred mineral resources at the deposit, at a 3,000 tpd
rate for 30,000 tpa high purity (>99.9% C)
The study assumed a selling price of $7,500/tonne for purified
graphite, with operating costs of $2,046/tonne, yielding a
margin of $5,454/tonne. Gross revenue from the mine is pegged
at $4.8bn, with an after tax annual average cash flow of
Albany’s base case after tax net present value
(NPV) is estimated at $438m at a 10% discount rate, with an
after tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 24%.
The stock market reacted negatively to the news, with Zenyatta
shares closing down 13.9% at Canadian dollar (C$) 1.98/share
($1.59/share*) in Toronto following the release of the
Analysts commentating on the outcome of study that much of the
viability of Albany will depend on Zenyatta’s
ability to consistently attain a purity of >99.9% C at a
suitable flake size and on the realisation of high prices for
In Mozambique, ASX-listed Syrah Resources
Ltd has published the findings of a feasibility study
on its Balama graphite project, which estimated an initial
capex of $138m for the 81m tonne (proved and probable) ore
reserve, with a payback period of less than two years after
The maiden JORC reserve at Balama is sufficient to support
operations for over 40 years at 380,000 tpa concentrate (95% C)
production, with an average head grade of approximately 19% C,
the study said. Average unlevered project free cash flow is
estimated at $160m during the first 10 years.
Average operating costs are stated at $286/tonne on an FOB Port
of Nacanda basis, while Balama’s IRR is calculated
at 71% with an after tax NPV of $1.1bn.
In Australia, Valence Industries
Ltd has increased the NPV of its Uley graphite project
on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula by 38% to
$90m, simultaneously increasing the property’s IRR
Valence also said that Uley’s mine life had been
extended to more than eight years, based on a higher ore
reserve of 2.9m tonnes, with total ore mined estimated at 2.92m
tonnes at an average head grade of 12.1%.
The increases were based on a revision of the feasibility study
for Uley, originally published in January this year.
Resources Ltd has intersected graphite mineralisation
over a 2km area at its Oakdale graphite project, also located
on the Eyre Peninsula.
The graphite was identified in four "lenses", which are up to
275 metres wide and 2,000 metres in length, Oakdale said. It
added that the mineralisation is mainly within 50 metres of the
surface, with around 20 metres of overburden.
According to the results of the company’s latest
drilling campaign, which commenced in March this year over 113
drill holes covering 6,469 metres, the average thickness of the
saprolitic graphite-bearing clays in the site’s
oxidised zone averages 18.9 metres.
Ltd has announced that a review by Shenzen Qianhai
Zhongjin Group Co. Ltd of its graphite assets in Mozambique
will now include the company’s Ancuabe project in
the west of the country, as well as its Nicanda Hill site at
the Balama North project in eastern Cabo Delgado province.
Triton signed a
letter of intent (LOI) with Qianhai Zhongjin, a Chinese equity
firm and trading house, at the end of April for funding of up
to $200m to build and develop a 200,000 tpa graphite
concentrate operation at Nicanda Hill.
In an update
released this week, Triton said that Qianhai had "received
inquiries from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the
Ministry of Land and Resources (…) about
Triton’s graphite projects and as such, [Qianhai
Zhongjin] considers [Triton’s graphite] to
potentially be of strategic importance for China.
"As a result of
the [ministries’ queries, Qianhai Zhongjin]
considers the Ancuabe graphite project could hold additional
significant strategic value and wishes to include the Ancuabe
project in the scope of their due diligence," Triton said.
In Tanzania, Magnis Resources
Ltd has received formal approval from the
country’s National Environment Management Council
for the first stage of its application for a mining licence for
the Nachu graphite project.
Australia-based Magnis said that following
the submission of a scoping report and terms of reference by
the company’s consultants at the end of April, the
council has cleared Magnis to proceed to the environment and
social impact assessment (ESIA) stage.
The company expects the ESIA to be
completed by the end of June and said that exploration work,
mine planning, infrastructure design and government and
community relations are progressing on track.
Back in Canada, Mason Graphite
Inc. is to partner with the Manicouagan-Uapishka
Biosphere Reserve (RMBMU) respecting the development of its Lac
Gueret graphite project in Quebec.
TSX-V-listed Mason said that the main
objective of the partnership is to implement a sustainable and
socially acceptable mining project with sensitivity to the
environment and the concerns and expectations of the local
community in the Baie-Comeau region, where the project is
"We attach great importance to the
environment and sustainable development and we want to
establish lasting ties with the people of Manicouagan,"
Mason’s CEO, Benoit Gascon, said.
Activities to inform the local population
about the development will commence shortly and be followed by
a consultation process over the coming months.
Saint Jean Carbon
Inc. has filed an NI 43-101 report outlining the
exploration potential at its Clot graphite property, which is
located 150km northwest of Montreal in Quebec.
According to the report’s
findings, the property merits additional work to advance it
towards production, via a three step process, involving a
surface exploration programme, a drilling programme and
TSX-V-listed Saint Jean has earmarked a
budget of C$395,800 to complete the three stages.
Also in Quebec, Cavan Ventures
Inc. said that preliminary results from an initial
beneficiation test on samples from its Buckingham graphite
property have yielded grades of up to 95.3% C.
According to Cavan, 21.1% of the
sample’s flotation concentrate fell into the +48
mesh (jumbo size) fraction with a purity of 94.1% C. A further
16.4% fell into the +100 mesh fraction and assayed at 94.2% C,
while the remaining 48.3% fell into the -100 mesh category and
assayed at 95.3% C.
The company said that the results, which
were based on a 20.7kg surface sample taken from trench 22C at
Buckingham, will be used by fellow TSX-V-listed Caribou King
Resources to evaluate Cavan’s property, which lies
contiguous with the northern boundary of Caribou’s
own Buckingham property for a potential joint venture at the
In graphene news, one of the Nobel
Prize-winning physicists credited with the discovery of
graphene, Sir Andre Geim, has criticised the UK’s
Graphene Institute (NGI) as an example of money being
invested "in the building industry, rather than science".
Speaking at the Hay Festival in Wales last
week, Russian-born Geim said that the £61m ($93.5m) NGI
was "a good facility but you shouldn’t exaggerate
it", noting that during the time the UK has spent building the
centre, "other countries have progressed" with graphene
The comments will come as a blow to both
the UK and Manchester, which proudly styles itself as the "home
of graphene", as the material was first isolated by Geim and
his colleague, Konstantin Novosolov, at the University of
Manchester in 2004.
Since then, concerns have been mooted that
the UK is falling behind in the global graphene race, with its
number of patents in the science numbering in the tens, while
the US and China each have several thousand.
*Conversions made June