BlackEarth Maniry Graphite

BlackEarth delivers DFS with strong returns forecasted at Maniry Graphite Project

BlackEarth Minerals (ASX:BEM) reports that a recently-completed Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for its Maniry Graphite Project has found that the project will deliver ‘compelling’ financial returns and will be ‘technically robust’.

Key financial outcomes and assumptions outlined in the DFS include a new project life of 21 years up from 13.6 years in 2021, and an average stage one production of 39,000 tonnes of graphite per year, and 56,000 tonnes per year in stage two.

The company says the study is based on work conducted by CPC Engineering, an independent graphite design and construction engineers which completed the flow sheet design, advised on a range of mining and infrastructure requirements and assessed the capital requirements for stage one and stage two of the project.

Work undertaken by CPC has resulted in a detailed engineering design of the project including mining, processing and other operations, an optimised schedule that provides for selective mining of ‘high-grade’ product to maximum near-term economic outcomes, detailed cost estimates for all components of the operation; and a detailed operational and development plan for the short-term construction of infrastructure.

The study supports our view that Maniry will be perfectly placed to capitalise on the enormous opportunity to supply graphite for use in lithium batteries”

BlackEarth Managing Director Tom Revy said the DFS confirms that Maniry is on track to be a ‘world-class’ graphite project which will generate strong financial returns underpinned by an exceptional resource and robust processing route.

“The study supports our view that Maniry will be perfectly placed to capitalise on the enormous opportunity to supply graphite for use in lithium batteries.

The graphite supply shortfall is widely forecast to grow rapidly from next year onwards, increasing prices and profit margins for producers in the process.

Demand for non-Chinese graphite is expected to be even stronger as battery manufacturers and EV (electric vehicle) makers look to diversify their sources of supply.

Maniry’s location in Madagascar is also an important strategic advantage. The Government there is highly supportive and the country’s production and export of graphite is projected to expand rapidly over the next few years.

This DFS provides more firm evidence that we have all the ingredients required to take full advantage of what is rapidly shaping up to be a boom time for graphite producers.”

BlackEarth reports stage one CAPEX has increased from the scoping study of November 2021 due to larger process plant equipment incorporated into the initial flowsheet, which is a direct result of a significant increase in grade and product produced in stage one which requires a larger floatation circuit dryer, screening and bagging equipment and a larger primary crusher to meet stage two requirements; as well as increased equipment and freight costs over the last 1 to 2 years.

Despite the current inflationary conditions, the company reports the incorporation of larger equipment in stage one has resulted in a fall in stage two CAPEX, and this inclusion will allow for a quicker construction and commissioning period for stage two expansion.

It also says the additional strategic investment in stage one CAPEX has enhanced the project’s viability and will provide for significant and continual ongoing development and expansion, and has resulted in a 30% increase in stage one concentrate production on average, and over 12.5% per annum increase for stage two.

The ‘substantial’ resource expansion during 2022 has also contributed greatly to Maniry’s increased life of mine, project returns and long-term project revenue, and BlackEarth intends to undertake additional exploration programs within the Razafy North West area to increase the resource even further with the intention of adding to the project economics.

BlackEarth also reports it has adopted a weighted basket price of US $1,448 a tonne for the life of its operation, based on short-term market projections and conservatively does not provide for any price increases that may occur as and when the global supply of natural graphite falls as predicted well below projected demands.

BlackEarth Minerals is a vertically integrated graphite developer with advancing mining projects in Madagascar and nickel-copper-PGE prospects in Western Australia.

The company holds the flagship Maniry Graphite Project in southern Madagascar and the Donnelly River Nickel-Copper-PGE Project 240km south of Perth in Western Australia.

Images: Blackearth Minerals NL
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.