Flake Graphite explorer and developer, Volt Resources Limited (ASX: VRC) has announced excellent results from the first stage of a test-work program on graphite ore conducted at its flagship Bunyu Graphite Project in Tanzania by the highly respected technical group, American Energy Technologies Company (AETC) with its headquarters, operations and research laboratory facilities in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
AETC Test-Work Program – Summary
In January 2020, AETC has been assigned by Volt Resources to carry out a test-work program on a representative sample of ore derived from drilling undertaken under the Feasibility Study completed for Stage 1 of the Bunyu Graphite Project in 2018. The scope of work for the test-work program involved development of a graphite product from the ore sample and subsequently examination of the product for specific chemical, physical and processing properties. The ultimate objective was to conclude information regarding the suitability of the graphite product for various graphite markets such as anode feedstock for Li-ion cells.
The Bunyu Graphite Project Stage 1, based on a mining and processing plant annual throughput rate of 400k tonnes of ore, would be producing 23,700 tonnes per annuum (on average) of natural flake graphite product at ~96% TGC. The following table gives a summary of the product size, grade distribution and average sales price reported under the Feasibility Study for Stage 1, under which essential infrastructure and market position would be stablished to pave way for the significantly larger Stage 2 expansion project.
The table given below provides a comparison between the product size distribution of the graphite product as indicated by the Feasibility Study of Stage 1 and the product size distribution as indicated by the AETC test-work program.
The data demonstrates that there is a substantial upswing in the percentage of high priced +30# and +50# graphite flake as well as a reduction mainly in the lower priced fine graphite flake. This would have significant implication and economic benefits for both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Bunyu Graphite Project.
Other key results from the first phase of the test-work program include:
- Production of a 99.95% thermally purified graphite product suitable for a number of end uses including battery anode material feedstock.
- ICP analysis which identified very low Boron levels in the thermally purified graphite which makes the Bunyu product suitable for nuclear industry components and as a feedstock in the manufacture of synthetic diamonds.
- Excellent preliminary BET, Scott volume and tap density measures which point to the Bunyu graphite product being a good quality feedstock for Li-ion battery cell anode material.
However, further analysis and additional test-work would still be conducted on these initial results, that if, reaffirm the benefits in flake size distribution, would be followed by next steps to incorporate the changes into the Stage 1 flowsheet design and a change in the processing reagents if sufficient time is at hand. Although, no significant changes in the operating and capital cost are expected to the current Stage 1 plant and these are expected to be more than offset by the substantial increase in sales revenue.
Having completed the first phase of the AETC program, Volt Resources now plans to release further test-work results as they become available over time.
Volt continues to advance its Mauritian Note Offer to raise up to USD 30 million as well as identify alternative finance sources to fund Stage 1 development of Bunyu Graphite Project.
Stock Information: The VRC stock is currently priced at AUD 0.005 as at end of the trading session on 09 April 2020.