Volt Resources Releases Bunyu Graphite Feasibility Study

Volt Resources continues to make progress with its Bunyu graphite project in Tanzania, and the company has now released a feasibility study for the asset.

Volt Resources (ASX:VRC) has released a feasibility study for stage one development at its flagship Bunyu graphite project in Tanzania.

The company’s key objective during phase one will be to establish infrastructure and its market position in preparation for an expansion that will come in stage two.

Stage one is based on a mining and processing plant throughput rate of 400,000 tonnes of ore per year, with the intention of producing an average of 23,700 tonnes per year of graphite products.

According to a press release from the company, project development approvals and funding initiatives for stage one are well underway, and first ore production is expected to take place 12 months into the development schedule.

The study anticipates an average free-on-board (FOB) operating cost of US$664 per tonne, with startup capital estimated at US$31.8 million. Stage one’s pre-tax NPV is US$18.6 million at a 10-percent discount, and its pre-tax IRR is 21 percent.

The payback period for stage one is pegged at 4.4 years, and total earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization are set at US$93.6 million over the stage’s seven-year span.

Volt is currently finishing the final binding offtake agreements for stage one’s annual production, and a definitive feasibility study for stage two is lined up to happen simultaneously with stage one work.

Volt CEO Trevor Matthews discussed the completion of the feasibility study in a statement, explaining the company’s decision behind developing Bunyu through a two-stage process. “The stage 1 feasibility study is another important step forward in Volt’s plan to become one of the top three global producers of natural flake graphite,” he said.

“Following a detailed strategic review of product markets and financial markets, in May 2017 Volt announced a clear pathway to transition the company into a globally significant producer of material quantities of high quality graphite products. It was decided that this accelerated pathway would be achieved via the development of the Bunyu project over two stages,” Matthews added.

Volt’s Tanzanian subsidiary, Volt Graphite Tanzania, also completed several tasks during the feasibility study, such as completing the environmental and social impact study, lodging two mining license applications and completing a resettlement action plan.

At close of day on Tuesday (July 31), Volt’s share price was flat at AU$0.021.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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city harbour with boats

Australia isn't a producer of graphite (yet), but three states in the country are home to millions of tonnes of reserves and resources.

Graphite has been growing in popularity in recent years as its applications as a battery mineral are realised, and as the popularity of electric vehicles grows around the world.

A form of carbon, graphite is a good conductor and is invaluable in electronics. It comes in three different forms, each with their own valuable applications in modern technology, making it a sought-after commodity without which supply lines for many industries around the world would grind to a halt.

Graphite isn't produced in Australia (yet), but the country sits on 1.05 million tonnes of ore reserves, and 7.14 million tonnes of economic demonstrated resources (EDR), as per 2017 government data — and those numbers are way up from the previously disclosed data from Canberra in 2013.

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Sydney, Australia – New Energy Minerals Limited is pleased to provide an update to the market in relation to the Company’s activities for the period ending 31 December 2020. Corporate Update New Project Acquisition The Company has previously announced with the closing of the Balama Sale Transaction on 17 July 2020 that it has no further operations in Mozambique and that the closing also represented a disposal of its …

Sydney, Australia (ABN Newswire) – New Energy Minerals Limited (ASX:NXE) (FRA:GGY) (OTCMKTS:MTTGF) is pleased to provide an update to the market in relation to the Company’s activities for the period ending 31 December 2020.

Corporate Update

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Syrah remains engaged in progressing the feasibility study for the scale-up of the Vidalia facility post-product qualification.

Graphite producer Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR,OTC Pink:SYAAF) said it is temporarily suspending operations at its Vidalia battery materials plant in the US state of Louisiana following a state-wide “Stay at Home Order” to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The order, issued on Sunday (March 22), will be in effect until April 13, with Syrah saying it does not meet criteria for exclusions under this regulation.

“This will delay the distribution of purified natural graphite samples for qualification with potential customers whilst the Stay at Home Order remains in place,” the company said in a press release.

Right now, Syrah’s team is working remotely to progress the feasibility study for the scale-up of the Vidalia facility post-product qualification.

The US plant, which the company purchased for US$1.23 million, produced its first unpurified spherical graphite at the end of 2018, with qualification samples dispatched to target customers in early 2019. The facility has environmental permits in place and an initial milling capacity of 5,000 tonnes per year.

Syrah’s Balama graphite project in Mozambique, which is the largest natural graphite operation outside of China, remains operational at this time.

“The company continues to monitor and assess the international mobility of personnel, the free movement of goods through supply chains and broader market conditions,” Syrah said, adding that it continues to strengthen protocols in response to COVID-19 risks at the asset.

Back in September, the company reduced production volumes to 5,000 tonnes per month at Balama due to volatility in the market. Syrah said it has continued its moderated production strategy into Q1 of this year as planned, seeking to match production volumes with market demand.

“Despite the near-term uncertainty due to COVID-19, the long-term market fundamentals for natural flake graphite remain intact, with ongoing commitment to the decarbonisation of the transport sector via lithium ion powered electric vehicles by supply chain participants and governments,” the company said.

Syrah expects its end-of-quarter cash balance to be broadly aligned to guidance of US$64.6 million.

On Tuesday (March 24), Syrah was trading up 2 percent at AU$0.23. However, the company’s share price has been suffering since the start of the year, and is down more than 50 percent since January.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


The Investing News Network (INN) spoke with analysts, market watchers and insiders about which trends will impact this sector in the year ahead.
✓ Trends   ✓ Forecasts    ✓ Top Stocks

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IG6 and ZEN Energy Sign MOU to Cooperate on Renewable Power Supply at Collie
International Graphite Limited (ASX: IG6) – Admission and Quotation
International Graphite Limited (ASX: IG6) – Admission and Quotation

Western Australia’s International Graphite (ASX:IG6) has signed a non‐binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ZEN Energy with the objective of concluding binding agreements for the purchase of firmed renewable energy from ZEN Energy by International Graphite for its Collie operation

  • International Graphite seeks to build commercial scale graphite downstream processing facilities at Collie to produce battery anode materials for electric vehicles
  • ZEN Energy is seeking to build and operate a ‘big battery’ in Collie rated at 200MW of power capacity , and storing up to 800MWh of energy, in support of renewable energy supply contracts with customers in the Collie region
  • MOU lays the foundation for cooperation aimed at reaching renewable energy supply agreements for International Graphite’s downstream processing plant in Collie.

ZEN Energy, whose major shareholder is leading climate change economist Professor Ross Garnaut, is a renewable energy retailer that currently supplies the electricity needs of the South Australian Government, CSIRO’s sites in the eastern states, a set of commercial and industrial businesses in the SACOME Buying Group and twenty‐five local regional councils in New South Wales. ZEN is assessing the feasibility of building a 200MW, 600 to 800MWh battery at Collie, south of Perth. The battery would be around four times the size of Tesla’s big battery in South Australia.

International Graphite is developing downstream graphite processing facilities in Collie. This facility will undertake research and development activities and conduct pilot testing of graphite concentrates for purification and spheroidising of graphite for Battery Anode Material (BAM) applications, as well as produce micronised graphite. It is the Company’s intention to expand the facility to commercial scale production.

The power supply agreement with ZEN Energy would provide a renewables power source to drive the graphite technologies that International Graphite plans to develop at its downstream processing facility. This will help the company achieve its targets for low carbon emissions and facilitate rapid production expansion in the future.

Both International Graphite and ZEN Energy are supported by the Western Australian Government, which awarded International Graphite $2m through the Collie Futures Industry Development Fund toward the establishment of a graphite micronising plant at Collie and up to $1 million for the first stage of ZEN’s big battery feasibility study.1 This investment by the WA Government in both projects demonstrates its commitment to build Collie as a future centre of renewable energy projects in Western Australia.

International Graphite Executive Chairman Phil Hearse said access to renewable energy underpins our ability to deliver highly ESG accredited products into global markets.

“A critical supply of green power gives International Graphite an important advantage, helping ESG and environmental objectives, as well as supporting a new supply chain that will bring jobs to Collie and opportunity to Western Australia,” Mr Hearse said.

ZEN Energy’s big battery would help manage wholesale market risk in a program to supply renewable energy to new and existing industrial projects in Collie. It is expected to be a key feature in a new Collie Battery and Hydrogen Industrial Hub Project, which is the centrepiece in the Western Australian Government’s $100m strategy to create a major renewable energy centre in Collie and transition the local economy away from coal.

ZEN Energy CEO Anthony Garnaut said, “We are committed to creating practical energy supply solutions for customers seeking to grow their business on a sustainable footing.”

“Successful cooperation with International Graphite strengthens the commercial case for a big battery in Collie and provides a practical demonstration of how Australia can become a renewable energy superpower.

“There are additional benefits that a large battery will bring to the Western Australian grid. For example, it will support the continued investment of West Australian households in roof top solar by providing the ability to soak up excess solar energy, reducing the need to curtail residential solar production.”

This announcement has been authorised for release by the Board of Directors of International Graphite.

Click here for the full ASX Release

This article includes content from International Graphite , licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

various commodities atop a laptop
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“As we've seen in Ukraine, war has supercharged a number of these commodity prices,” John Forwood told RIU Resources Round-Up attendees.

Investment strategies for weathering and benefiting from current market trends were a hot topic at Sydney's recent RIU Resources Round-Up, held in early May.

Current opportunities and potential future ones were highlighted in the keynote address offered by John Forwood, chief investment officer at Lowell Resources Funds Management.

Quoting a February report from the head of commodity research at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Forwood explained to attendees that we have reached a “molecule crisis” in the commodity space and are essentially “out of everything.”

This deficit has only been compounded by the war in Ukraine, which has further weakened supply fundamentals and chains.

“When the (war in) Ukraine started, about a month later the commodities index (represented by Bloomberg commodities index) had its highest one-week spike on record, and that's a record going back over 60 years,” Forwood said. “As we've seen in Ukraine, war has supercharged a number of these commodity prices.”

However, according to the CIO, there is still a considerable amount of upward growth potential.

“In terms of where we are in terms of that commodity basket, we're way behind where we were in 2008, pre the (global financial crisis) and after the mining boom of the 2000s,” he told the crowd.

“And we're way behind where the Dow Jones and equities in general have got to,” Forwood added. “So, we think that there's potential for the commodity sector to be just getting started.”

There are also several other factors that are adding tailwinds to the broad sector, according to Forwood, who cited inflation — which is at 5 percent in Australia and 7-8 percent in the US and UK — as a significant contributor.

Looking at the longer-term fundamentals that have gotten us here, Forwood pointed to lack of investment capital as a main driver.

“I think the big one, the long term one, is under investment,” he said, noting that the early 2000s mining boom led to a lot of investment, which we aren’t seeing today.

“But over the last seven or eight years, we've seen a real dearth of capital going back into the sector. And in fact, we've also seen a dearth of M&A — something that we've been looking out for and it's just not happening.”

In fact, as one of the slides Forwood presented laid out, investment from the resource industry back into itself reached a 19 year low late last year.

Despite the lack of large investment, Australia’s junior resource index was up 16 percent at the end of April compared to the broader market and the Dow Jones Index, which had slipped 9 percent.

“So that may represent a rotation from other sectors into the resources sector. And if that is the start of what's happening, that could be very, very significant for resource company prices,” he said, explaining the resource sector is actually very small on a global scale.

“And if you see significant global money flowing into that sector, you know, it's almost the sky's the limit,” Forwood added.

Gold and volatility

While speaking about several commodities, the CIO for Lowell Resource Funds Management took time to highlight how gold could also be positioned for an upward trend, because “commodities do best when inflation is rising, and interest rates are rising.”

He then displayed a chart that indicated gold was the top performer among US stocks and the US greenback during the first six months following the commencement of a Fed rate hike period.

Real interest rates, which are hovering around 0 percent, are likely to have no effect on gold's price because, according to the Forwood, rates would have to be 3 percent or higher to impact gold.

He did warn that stagflation could add more wind to the yellow metal’s sails moving forward.

“We think there's a decent chance of (stagflation) occurring, so what should you buy?” he posited. “If you think that stagflation is on its way, well, the answer is also gold.”

Forwood concluded his address by encouraging attendees to invest in the junior resource space.

“Finally, at the Lowell Fund, we like to invest in junior explorers,” he said.

“Because they're the ones who make the discoveries, and discoveries is where you can really add the most value.”

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

physical coin representing bitcoin

A Canadian fund provider is debuting a version of its popular bitcoin ETF in Australia. Is now the best time for this launch?

Australian investors are getting a new way to invest in the volatile bitcoin space thanks to a deal between an asset management company and a Canadian fund provider.

On May 12, Canadian fund maker Purpose Investments launched a version of its bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the Australian market by way of a partnership with Cosmos Asset Management, which is owned in part by the Australian division of Mawson Infrastructure Group (NASDAQ:MIGI).

The fund, called the Cosmos-Purpose Bitcoin Access ETF (CXA:CBTC), is listed on the Cboe Australia exchange, and holds units of the Toronto-based Purpose Bitcoin ETF (TSX:BTCC).

“We have brought together a team of global experts to offer Australian investors access to a truly high-quality product,” Dan Annan, Cosmos Asset Management CEO, said in a statement to investors.

ETF maker pursues rising international interest in cryptocurrencies

In an interview with the Investing News Network (INN), Vlad Tasevski, chief operating officer and head of product at Purpose Investments, said the firm has been actively pursuing ways to offer its crypto funds internationally.

The executive said there has been widespread interest in BTCC since its launch back in February of last year.

As the firm began evaluating how to approach this demand, the company considered setting up shop in the Australian market, Tasevski said. However, eventually the Canadian fund provider went with the partnership route.

Tasevski called Australia “the next logical jurisdiction" for the firm as it expands with its crypto funds.

When asked what makes Australia so attractive for the expansion of BTCC, the executive said it has a similar market structure to Canada, and credited securities regulators in the nation for being more comfortable with cryptocurrency listings than other jurisdictions.

Purpose has strong long-term outlook for digital assets

Although crypto assets are facing a serious ongoing downturn in value that has created significant losses, Tasevski told INN that Purpose Investments is undeterred in its long-term crypto outlook.

“The amount of capital and the amount of people involved in the space has never been higher,” Tasevski said.

The executive said he views his company's offerings as very flexible for investors. “We'll be here for (investors) to actually give them the ability to very easily access it whenever they feel it is appropriate for them,” he said.

Tasevski added that he views the current downturn for bitcoin as “one of the best entry opportunities in the last year and a half.”

​As bitcoin struggles, ETF firm celebrates structural victory

Purpose Investments has suggested to investors that accessing the bitcoin market through its funds is a safer route than going it alone, especially given the current period of remarkable losses.

According to Tasevski, the firm's products offer liquidity to investors and provide a measured approach for people who want exposure in this segment.

“We have been very clear that this is a volatile asset class,” he told INN. “And investors should kind of understand the level of volatility that they will be taking on.”

The investment executive said the infrastructure security provided by the rules ETFs must follow has been a boon as the crypto space faces major volatility.

Even so, BTCC has been rocked in 2022 based on the performance of bitcoin. Over a year-to-date period, the fund had gone down in value by over 35 percent as of the closing bell in Canada on May 11. In the past month alone, BTCC has dropped in value by over 20 percent.

Som Seif, founder and CEO of Purpose Investments, recently said crypto is a “core component” for the firm “when solving problems for (its) customers.”

​Investor takeaway

Digital assets have never been more easily available as tools for all types of investors.

While many experts remain confident in the long-term outlook for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the considerable volatility prevailing in the market can make the space difficult for newcomers to stomach.

So far in 2022, bitcoin losses have highlighted the lack of stability in digital coins — but of course, as some have argued, these big moves can also provide entry points and opportunities for savvy investors.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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