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The company has signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture to develop a graphite purification facility in Mozambique.
The companies signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture to develop a graphite purification facility in the African country.
The plant would source graphite concentrate from Battery Minerals’ Montepuez project as well as potentially toll-treat graphite from other mines in Mozambique.
Battery Minerals Managing Director Jeremy Sinclair remains confident that demand for graphite will soar as the take-up of lithium-ion batteries gains speed.
“The proposed processing joint venture with Urbix is aimed at ensuring we are well positioned to capitalize on the demand for not only graphite concentrate but also the higher-margin processed product, which is essential to the battery manufacturers,” he said.
Sinclair added that, at the same time, the company believes there is excellent potential to reduce the cost of developing Montepuez through a partnership approach with contractors.
Battery Minerals is assessing options to reduce the funding requirement for the 86 year mine by US$6 million by using contractors to operate the asset.
“The strong outlook for the project is also reflected in the fact that some contractors have expressed an interest in being part of the project funding package,” he said.
Looking ahead, Battery Minerals and Urbix, which specializes in refinement and purification of natural graphite, will put all their effort into completing the feasibility work needed for the proposed facility.
The graphite developer is expecting to start graphite flake production from Montepuez at a rate of 50,000 tonnes per year at an average flake concentrate grade of 96 percent total graphitic carbon. Stage 2 would see production grow to 100,000 tonnes per year.
Aside from Montepuez, Battery Minerals owns the Balama Central project also in Mozambique, which is expected to have a Stage 1 production rate of 58,000 tonnes per year, increasing to 110,000 tonnes per year in Stage 2.
Shares of Battery Minerals closed up 12.5 percent on October 10 at AU$0.0090.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.