About BlackEarth Minerals NL
BlackEarth Minerals NL (ASX: BEM) is a graphite explorer and developer focused on fast-tracking its Maniry Graphite Project, located in the southern region of Madagascar. The Company’s strategy is centred around flake graphite, and with Madagascar already established as a significant producer of very large size flake graphite, BlackEarth aims to secure offtake agreements in China, which has recently become a net importer of flake graphite, in particular from Africa.
BEM also holds other projects including the Donnelly River Project, Greenhills Project and Northern Gully Project in Australia, which are currently in the early exploration phase.
BGRIMM for Finalising Maniry Graphite Ore Testing
On 1 October 2019, BEM announced the appointment of the Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (BGRIMM) to perform final testing on graphite ore from the Maniry project. Under the terms of the contract, BGRIMM will complete all process engineering related matters as part of BEM’s DFS study on the Company’s flagship Maniry project.
BGRIMM will undertake a 60-70 tonne large scale pilot metallurgical test program in two phases, with graphite concentrate produced to be used in finalising binding off-take arrangements in the Chinese market. The two-phase test work is due for completion in the first quarter of 2020.
Why BEM Chose BGRIMM?
Established in 1956, the Beijing General Research Institute of Mining & Metallurgy is a globally recognised technical leader in graphite processing and engineering, and has offices and laboratory facilities in Beijing, China. BGRIMM is engaged in research & development, engineering services related to mineral resource developments, advanced material technology and products, with its activities focused on mining, mineral processing, metallurgy and recycling of metallic resources.
Additionally, BGRIMM has provided services including testing, engineering, engineering procurement and construction EPC/EPCM to several graphite developers and producers from the domestic and international markets.
The Two-Stage Test Program
First Phase: During the first stage, BGRIMM will undertake laboratory scale test work on an initial 250kg sample of graphite ore from the Maniry project. Results obtained from the test work will be utilised to confirm all work carried out at ALS Perth, as part of which the company had earlier confirmed to have achieved high purity graphite anode material from a Maniry Project concentrate.
Additionally, test work results will be used to provide optimal process flow, reagent systems, industrial equipment selection and process operating conditions required for a large-scale process pilot test program in the second phase.
Second Phase: This stage will be focused on the large-scale process pilot test program on a graphite ore weighing ~60 tonnes from the Maniry project, aimed towards optimising the Maniry flow sheet, which will provide final specifications for equipment. Additionally, the results obtained from this stage will provide significant input into the final Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of the Madagascan, Maniry Graphite Project.
Moreover, the program would be targeted towards generating substantial concentrate, which will be used in finalising off-take agreements.
BEM Managing Director, Mr Tom Revy, stated that the advanced stage of development reflects the commitment, experience and networks of the company’s team, in addition to its learnings from other players in the graphite market. Mr Revy added that the company achieved several significant milestones during the last year, and all these milestones are extremely important for BEM, as they have assisted in progressing the Maniry project towards production, which once achieved, will result in cashflow for the company.
High Purity Graphite Anode Materials
One of the significant milestones that the company recently achieved is obtaining high purity graphite anode materials from the testing on concentrate from the Maniry Graphite Project. The concentrate delivered purification specifications exceeding marketable battery grade graphite, as the test work achieved 99.97% carbon purity, while purification above 99.95% is generally considered difficult to achieve. More on this independent test work program can be READ here.
Source: Company’s Report
With this achievement, the company inched closer towards executing an off-take agreement, for which it is in discussions with potential end-users. BEM considers entering a suitable off-take agreement as of utmost importance for advancing the Maniry project, which will also play an important role in securing finance for the project.
The Australian-born and Madagascar-bred company intends to finalise the feasibility study for the Maniry project next year (2020), and anticipates project commissioning in the subsequent year (2021).
The stock of BlackEarth Minerals NL was trading at AUD 0.050 on 4 October 2019 (AEST: 3:17 PM). The company has a market cap of AUD$6 million with approximately 113 million shares on issue.
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