Talga Group (ASX:TLG) is continuing to explore the extent of its natural graphite in Sweden to meet demand and facilitate the European Union’s goals for a local supply of strategic materials.
The $425.68 million market capitalisation company says it currently holds the largest natural graphite resources in Europe classified to JORC standards. Even so, however, its initial battery anode production plans of 19,500 tonnes per annum (tpa) address only a fraction of planned local battery production capacity.
To meet this demand, Talga reports it is currently undertaking various exploration activities at its wholly-owned Vittangi Graphite Project in northern Sweden.
At the Nunasvaara South deposit, the company has completed a deep geophysical survey using ground electromagnetics (EM) methods previously used to locate iron/rare earth element (REE) orebodies.
The survey results will be utilised to target strategic drilling to extend Talga’s 11.1 million tonne (Mt) Nunsavaara South resource down-dip of the open-pit 2.4Mt ore reserve supplying the current 100,000tpa ore mining plan outlined in Talga’s 2021 Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).
This work will inform development options such as an early transition to underground extraction.
Meanwhile, Talga says it has increased the Vittangi Graphite Project global mineral resource cut-off grade, resulting in an update to the mineral resource estimate (MRE).
The MRE is now estimated to total 35Mt averaging 23.8% graphitecontaining 8.3Mt of graphite, inclusive of indicated resources estimated to total 26.7Mt averaging 24.3% graphite and inferred resources estimated to total 8.3Mt averaging 22.1% graphite.
This updated MRE revises Talga’s Swedish graphite resources to an estimated total of 70.8Mt averaging 18.8% graphite, containing 13.3Mt of graphite — the largest natural graphite resource in Europe.
The company notes it has also intercepted wide zones of graphite in the first drilling of a 6km-long zone of ‘strong’ EM conductors up to 300m wide.
Following the analysis of regional airborne EM surveys and the completion of new ground ‘Slingram’ geophysical surveys, Talga has completed scout drilling of 730m in 5 diamond holes.
Downhole intercepts from this drilling include 212m @ 4.5% graphite and 77m @ 4.1% graphite from 73.7m in drillhole VIT622012, with maximum grades reaching 14.1% graphite in drillhole VIT622014.
These results also confirm the presence of ‘significant’ zones of mineralisation across 120m true width with individual graphite units up to 40m wide.
There is also the potential both for increased grade and scale to be defined in the future, although Talga says developments at Nunasvaara South and Niska remain its top priority.
Talga Resources is building a European battery materials supply chain to offer products critical to the green transition.
The company had $38.597 million cash and cash equivalents at hand as of 30 June 2023, according to its latest quarterly report.
Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au
Images: Talga Group