UK AIM-listed StratMin Global Resources
Plc has increased its exposure to the Australian
capital markets through a farm in agreement with ASX-listed
Bass Metals Ltd, a Tasmania-focused polymetallic mining
The deal gives Bass a 35% stake in
StratMin’s Loharano graphite mine in Madagascar,
via an initial £2m ($3.04m*) investment in
StratMin’s subsidiary, Graphmada Mauritius. The
investment will be made in two tranches, giving Bass an
interest of 25% by the end of November, followed by a further
10% by the end of this year.
Brett Boynton, StratMin’s
Australia-based CEO, told IM that although
such farm in deals were not commonplace in the mining industry,
the deal with Bass is a cost effective way of gaining access to
the buoyant Australian graphite investment market.
"We have such a big and robust market
here, so we were eager to be a part of it," he said. He added
that Bass, which shares two of its non-executive directors with
StratMin, had been looking for exposure to the renewable energy
Boynton said that StratMin’s
immediate near term goal is to get the Loharano processing
plant running 24 hours a day. The company has an offtake
agreement with a North American graphite buyer and a joint
venture for its Madagascar exploration activities with Indian
miner, Tirupati Carbons and Chemicals.
In Australia, Brisbane-based Graphitecorp Pty
Ltd is gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO)
on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) as it prepares for
its maiden drilling programme at the Mount Dromedary graphite
project, north of Cloncurry in Queensland.
Greg Baynton, director of Orbit Capital,
which has been working with Graphitecorp, said that the company
aims to mine and export flake graphite – a new
commodity for Queensland – with a focus on markets in
the Asia-Pacific region.
Baynton told IM that surface
mapping and sampling performed at Mount Dromedary had
encouraged the company to move forward with further exploration
at the site. Anecdotal reports from early work at the deposit
suggest graphite outcrops run over a distance of 3km and runs
to depths of up to 50 metres.
Graphite from TSX-V-listed Energizer Resources
Inc.’s Molo graphite project in
Madagascar has been successfully manufactured into material
suitable for use in lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery
Energizer said that the trial processing
had been performed by two independent parties: a prominent
Japanese manufacturer of lithium battery anode material and a
leading European supplier of spherical graphite for electric
The company added that that both parties
are subject to confidentiality agreements and that Energizer
will now move to the next stage in product analysis, which will
include additional bulk samples testing stages along each of
the manufacturers respective supply chains.
In Sweden, Talga Resources
Ltd has announced a maiden JORC mineral resource
estimate of more than 31.5m tonnes with 14.9% graphite for its
Jalkunen is the third of
Talga’s graphite resources in Sweden and takes the
company’s total inventory in the country to more
than 43m tonnes.
Talga said that ore from the deposit is
amenable to the same graphite liberation process used for
material taken from its Vittangi graphite project, located 50km
northwest of Jalkunen.
ASX-listed IMX Resources Ltd
has estimated a maiden exploration target of 100-350m tonnes
graphite, grading at approximately 3-11% C, at its Chilalo
graphite project in Tanzania.
This is on top of the existing Shimba
graphite resource of 18.1m tonnes grading at 6.2% C. The
company now plans to complete a feasibility study next month
for a 50,000 tpa flake graphite operation at Shimba and outline
a timeline to production.
In neighbouring Mozambique, ASX-listed
Ltd has entered into a non-binding term sheet for an
option to acquire two additional graphite licences in Cabo
Mustang is currently flying
electromagnetic (EM) surveys over its six licences in the area
and plans to fly over a further four licences, two of which it
will now have an option to acquire. The company has agreed to
pay Australian dollar (A$) 150,000 ($105,453) in ordinary share
capital plus A$50,000 in cash in return for the option.
Globe Metals and Mining
Ltd has signed an agreement with the Malawi Ministry
of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining for exploration and
mining rights to the historic Katengeza graphite prospect in
Globe, which is listed on the ASX, said
that Katengeza was explored for graphite before 1964, when
Malawi was under British colonial rule.
The company has undertaken a preliminary
assessment of the site, which included mapping and rock chip
sampling and said that the results suggest the
area’s mineralisation is equivalent to
Globe’s neighbouring Chimutu graphite prospect,
which lies within its Chiziro project licence area.
Also in Malawi, Sovereign Metals
Ltd has released the results of a scoping study on its
Duwi graphite project which it said confirms the deposit could
support a production rate of 110,000 tpa graphite concentrate
over an initial mine life of 20 years.
The company said that the project would
require an initial capital investment of $112m and incur
life-of-mine operating costs of $498/tonne of concentrate. The
findings were based on a mineral resource estimate of 77.3m
tonnes graphite with an average grade of 7.2% C.
MRL Corp. has
appointed Australia’s Imagine Intelligent
Materials to characterise and certify the
company’s graphite and graphene products, made
from vein graphite ore mined in Sri Lanka, with the objective
of selling them for graphene applications.
MRL, which is also headquartered in
Australia, said that Imagine would additionally negotiate sales
on behalf of MRL, which is preparing for first production at
its Sri Lankan graphite projects.
The explorer said that final engineering
studies for construction of headframes are underway at its
Aluketiya site. The headframes will be used to recover graphite
from shallow shafts.
Fellow Australian explorer Ardiden Ltd has
identified multiple new prospective targets at its Manitouwadge
graphite project in Ontario, Canada, following a detailed
geophysical review of EM data.
Ardiden said that the review identified a
number of new EM anomalies with lengths of up to 2,600 metres.
A team has been mobilised to undertake a mapping and sampling
programme on the newly identified areas and an application for
a work programme to target potential graphite zones will be
Back in Australia, Archer Exploration
Ltd has announced that testing by the University of
Adelaide has shown that plant growth is significantly boosted
when raw graphite from the company’s Sugarloaf
deposit is used as a soil conditioner.
The findings were based on 30-day wheat
trials, designed to test the soil nutrition and water retention
properties of ore taken from Sugarloaf, which is located on the
Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
Archer said that no processing of the ore
is required for it to be used as a soil conditioner and that
the results indicate the potential for graphite to be used as a
high value agricultural product.
In financial news, ASX-listed Kibaran Resources
Ltd has received confirmation of "in principle
eligibility for cover" from the German government in respect of
a loan for its Epanko graphite project in Tanzania.
Kibaran said that the confirmation is the
first important condition required to receive a UFK guarantee
from the German government, in combination with financing from
the country’s state-owned KfW IPEX-Bank.
The German government provides UFK, or
untied loan guarantee, coverage in the form of guarantees for
loans awarded by lenders for the financing of eligible
projects. The confirmation is based on Kibaran’s
offtake partners, ThyssenKrupp AG and an unnamed European
trader, supplying German industry with graphite.
Canada-based Focus Graphite
Inc. has closed the first tranche of a non-brokered
private placement for gross proceeds of Canadian dollar (C$)
429,829 ($326,133) in return for just over 3.3m units, issued
at a price of C$0.13/unit.
Each unit comprised of one common share in
Focus and one common share purchase warrant, entitling the
holder to acquire one additional common share in the company at
a price of C$0.17/share until 28 August 2019. Focus said it
expects to proceed shortly with a second tranche, which will
take gross proceeds of the offering up to C$2m.
The company is developing the Lac Knife
graphite project in Quebec.
Nouveau Monde Mining
Enterprises Inc. has closed the final tranche of two
non-brokered private placements for total proceeds of C$2.995m,
following the issue of around 7.8m units.
The proceeds will be used to cover working
capital and exploration expenses at the company’s
Matawinie graphite property in Quebec.
TSX-V-listed Great Lakes Graphite
Inc. is to receive a contribution of up to Canadian
dollar C$30,000 from the National Research Council of Canada
Industrial Research Assistance Program to support graphite
purification development at Process Research ORTECH, located in
The company said that the main objective
of its partnership with Process Research ORTECH is to develop a
purification process that will achieve a graphite product of
over 99% purity that is both highly economical and has the
lowest possible environmental impact.
Finally, Zenyatta Ventures
Ltd has granted 950,000 options to management,
directors and advisors of the company at an exercise price of
C$1.43/share for a period of five years.
5th Graphite & Graphene
Conference will be held on 8-9 December at the
Waldorf Hilton in London. For more information, contact Peter
*Conversions made September