THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Black Rock Mining (ASX: BKT) completed a large-scale spheronising and purification trial at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Mahenge graphite project in Tanzania.
Black Rock Mining completed the testing using 400 kilograms of sub 80 mesh concentrate it had generated during its March 2019 Pilot Plant run.
The company said the trial demonstrated a yield to final product of 48 per cent and 53 per cent, and final purity of 99.98 per cent total graphitic carbon (TGC) using commercial scale equipment in commercial processing and in dedicated research facilities.
The outcomes exceeded Chinese Industry Benchmark yields of 35 to 45 per cent and purity of 99.95 per cent while using standard equipment and techniques.
Black Rock has sent Spherical Purified Graphite (SPG) produced from the trials to interested parties for further testing.
“The best way to think of the bulk spheronising trial is that it is the equivalent of our pilot plant strategy, but in this case, done downstream,” Black Rock Mining CEO John de Vries said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“The fundamental objectives of the pilot plant approach remain the same and that is to improve our attractiveness to financiers and investors by demonstrating and de-risking Mahenge’s superior performance in our potential customers’ business.
“In completing this round of work, we had two key objectives.
“Firstly, to ensure that the flow sheet developed for the Mahenge concentrator preserves the integrity of the flake and does not impair spheronising performance.
“Secondly, to demonstrate that offtake partners can achieve industry leading performance using our flake in their existing facilities.
“This underpins our price point and volumes in our pricing framework agreements.
“Conducting a large-scale spheronising trial using industry standard equipment allows us to assess how initial laboratory results obtained during the Pre-Feasibility Study in 2017…scale up in the industrial context that our customers operate in.
“For our customers to be able to replicate the best-in-class spheronising results, that are up to a 50 per cent improvement on current yields, while able to replicate results obtained in highly controlled laboratory conditions by skilled researchers, with no modifications to their processes, is simply stunning.
“Concentrate used for these trials was produced at the Chinese pilot plant where the design flowsheet intended for the Mahenge graphite project was demonstrated.
“The exceptional spheronising yields obtained in the trial show that the planned flowsheet does not damage our flake.
“This talks to the unique geological advantage of Mahenge graphite, and the diligence applied to design and trials to optimise and de-risk our flowsheet before construction.
“With the completion of this technical work, we can confidently focus on completing our financing discussions and documenting the shareholder agreement with the Tanzanian Government.”