Metals Australia (ASX:MLS) is laying foundations for a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) into the commercial production of flake graphite concentrate from its Lac Rainy Graphite Project in Quebec, Canada.
The $21.21 million market capitalisation company says the preceding Scoping Study demonstrated ‘strong’ economic cashflow potential based on production of nearly 100,000 tonnes per annum of 96.7% graphite flake graphite concentrate over a 14-year period. It showed the project has a capital payback of 4 years.
Metals Australia will assess the most suitable purification method for processing ‘high-grade’ flake-graphite concentrate into premium battery-grade spherical-graphite for the North American lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle (EV) markets.
The studies will be directed and managed by newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Ferguson, who begins his tenure as CEO next week (22 January 2024).
Chairman Mike Scivolo says the company has a belief that Lac Rainy has the potential to be a ‘globally significant’ and tier one flake-graphite resource.
“We now look forward to launching an extensive drilling program to test the new high-grade target zones along that extended strike-length with the aim of substantially upgrading the existing resource and confirming the enormous potential for resource growth into the future.
We see the production of this premium battery-grade product as an outstanding opportunity to feed a North American market that is rapidly looking to diversify away from dependence on Chinese supply.
These accelerated work programs and development studies are key steps towards unlocking Lac Rainy’s true potential as discussions are progressed regarding government funding and offtake partnerships.”
The upcoming works come after the posting of an ‘exceptionally high-grade’ 64.3% flake graphite result from an ‘extensive’ sampling program at Lac Rainy.
Sampling also produced 10 results over 20% graphite and averaged 11% graphite across a 36km strike length of graphitic trends identified within the project.
According to Metals Australia, it will move forward with a ‘major’ drilling program in February this year to test the new ‘high-grade’ zones identified from sampling in hopes of delivering a ‘substantial’ mineral resource upgrade.
Metals Australia is focused on advancing a ‘high quality’ portfolio of battery minerals and metals projects in the ‘highly prospective’ and mining friendly jurisdictions of Western Australia and Quebec, Canada.
Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au
Images: Metals Australia