Global miner Mineral Commodities (ASX:MRC) reports its subsidiary MRC Graphite has signed a participation and heritage engagement agreement for the Munglinup Graphite Project in Western Australia.
The company reports the agreement with the Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (ETNTAC) is one of the ‘key’ precursors to obtaining environmental authorisation and a mining right for the project.
Under the agreement, ETNTAC will receive a 0.5% royalty on the gross proceeds from the sale or other disposal of graphite concentrate extracted from the project each year, beginning once production starts.
ETNTAC holds and manages the native title rights on behalf of the Kepa Kurl Wudjari people and works to reconnect people with country and culture by producing ‘tangible benefits’ and protecting culture.
Mineral Commodities says the agreement will provide economic, social, and environmental benefits to the Kepa Kurl Wudjari people, along with protecting cultural heritage and providing opportunities for the local community to be directly involved with the project through employment, training, and community engagement.
Commenting on the agreement, Mineral Commodities Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adam Bick says: “We are pleased that we came to an agreement with ETNTAC. In accordance with the company’s ESG focus, we look forward to the opportunity to provide economic, social, and environmental benefits to ETNTAC and the local community.
“Munglinup is a critical asset in our battery minerals division strategy and a critical minerals asset in Australia”
Munglinup is a critical asset in our battery minerals division strategy and a critical minerals asset in Australia. MRC will continue its focus in 2023 towards the successful completion of the graphite ore-to-battery anode piloting for anode materials production from Munglinup and Skaland, which is the final precursor to commercial scale graphitic anode production aimed for 2024.”
Also commenting, ETNTAC CEO Peter Bednall says the agreement recognises that the Kepa Kurl Wudjari people are entitled to be consulted about activities that impact upon their heritage and to participate in major economic developments in Wudjari Country.
“We acknowledge MRC’s approach to these matters, and we look forward to working with MRC to deliver the benefits back to the local community.”
A Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) completed in 2020 outlined Munglinup as a ‘robust’ and ‘economically justifiable’ graphite asset with the ability to produce about 52,000 tonnes per annum @ 12.8% total graphitic carbon (TGC) over 14 years.
Additionally, the Munglinup deposit source material formed the majority of the Prefeasibility Study (PFS) valuation for battery anode production from Skaland and Munglinup.
Mineral Commodities says the net present value (NPV) attributed to the Battery Materials division within the PFS valuation was US$1 billion. The company reports downstream pilot plant engineering and design, along with long-lead procurement, has begun.
Mineral Commodities is a global mining and development company primarily focused on producing ‘high-grade’ mineral sands and natural flake graphite from operations in South Africa and Norway.
The company produces zircon, rutile, garnet, magnetite, and ilmenite concentrates through its Tormin Mineral Sands Operation in the Western Cape of South Africa.
Additionally, the company owns and operates the Skaland Graphite Operation in Norway. The planned development of Munglinup in Western Australia builds on the Skaland acquisition and represents a further step toward an ‘integrated, downstream value-adding strategy’ that aims to capitalise on the fast-growing demand for sustainably manufactured lithium-ion batteries.
Write to Harry Mulholland at Mining.com.au
Images: Mineral Commodities Ltd