Black Rock Mining Limited (ASX: BKT), an exploration company that focusses on the Tanzanian graphite projects, announced that it has successfully completed the pilot plant testworks where 18.5 dry tonnes of ore were processed in a dedicated pilot plant facility in China. This pilot plant facility in China is operated by Yantai Jinyuan, which is the EPC partner of Black Rock Mining Limited.
Earlier at SGS Lakefield in Canada, there was a successful 90-tonne pilot plant run. Post this, Black Rock Mining Limited and its EPC partner Yantai Jinyuan agreed on the 18.5 tonne pilot plant run in China in order to make sure that Yantai was also able to replicate and validate the unique Mahenge product attributes and also to optimize the DFS flow sheet on the first pilot plant testwork program.
The pilot operation at a dedicated facility in Laiyang province in China was attended by the offtake and potential investment partners from China, Korea and Japan who observed the performance as well as conducted due diligence.
As announced by the company on 1 March 2019, Yantai Jinyuan Mining Machinery Ltd was successful in replicating the work completed by SGS laboratory where it was able to deliver 99% of the TGC concentrate at the lab from the oxide ores.
The recent operations delivered the recovery, grade and flake size performance that were similar to the lab results. The attendees at the plant observed as well as reviewed the optimized circuit design of the plant. They also were engaged in the completion of the due diligence based on the plant performance and sampling of ore along with intermediate as well as the final characteristic of the concentrate.
Based on this, John de Vries, who is the CEO of the Black Rock Mining Limited stated that through the company’s second round of pilot plant testworks, they would be able to attract finance by further de-risking the project.
This pilot plant is also an opportunity for the company as the distinctiveness of the Mahenge brand graphite was demonstrated in front of the key off-takers of the company as well as its potential investors. The pilot plant test work also demonstrated that the company is capable of producing premium branded product following recurring and straightforward process which requires no chemical intervention. Thus, making the Mahenge rank amongst one of the leading premium flake graphite concentrates.
As per the company announcement, by integrating the experience and IP of Yantai Jinyuan, an improved DFS flowsheet could be derived from the pilot plant. When the plant data gets fully processed, the company would be proceeding with the establishment of the contract with Yantai Jinyuan in order to supply the services related to the plant and engineering. The company will also commence the documentation process of the pledge worth US$20 million in vendor finance and additional US$20m of supported finance through third parties.
By the end of the trading session on 3 April 2019, the shares of Black Rock Mining zoomed up by 1.562% to close at A$0.065. The company has a market capitalization of A$37.48 million and approximately 585.55 million outstanding shares.
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