New Energy Minerals Limited (ASX: NXE) earlier known as Mustang Resources Limited is engaged in the mining and exploration of Graphite and Vanadium from its world-class Caula Vanadium-Graphite project in Northern Mozambique project.
On 14th March 2019, the company announced the results of the first set of specialised independent tests conducted by NGS Trading and Consulting GmbH on its 40% owned Caula Graphite and Vanadium project (through its 50% shareholding in Balama Resources Pty Ltd) located in Northern Mozambique.
The following are the results from the metallurgical testwork
- Expansion volumes of 430 mL/g for +500 micron flakes
- Expansion volumes of 390 mL/g for +300 to -500 micron flakes
- Expansion volumes of 350 mL/g for +180 to -300 micron flakes
According to the company, excellent expansion volumes were achieved for all flakes sizes with an average expansion volume of 295 mL/g. This has indicated Caula graphite to be suitable to produce expandable graphite, spherical graphite and all kinds of other applications including flame retardants and graphite foil. The samples were tested for expansion adding acid-based intercalation agents and applying heat up to 1000oC.
When graphite is heated to a high temperature, it causes expansion of individual flakes of graphite which consequently results in the production of expandable graphite. Expandable graphite is used for several applications like flame-retardant building materials and textiles. The graphite concentrates of expandable graphite sell at a significant premium to typical graphite concentrates.
The first set of expandable tests for both the Oxide Zone and Fresh Zone composite samples conducted at NGS produced expansion ratios of up to 430 mL/g which is almost double to the industry benchmark standard of 230 mL/g (used as a reference point for expandable graphite testwork). The average expansion ratio produced was 295 mL/g for all flake sizes combined.
NGS tested several different methods and could not find any restriction on the application of this type of expandable graphite. Further, it concluded for the preparation of expandable graphite, very large expansion volumes were achieved for a mix of all flakes and the composite samples from the Oxide Zone and Fresh Zone.
Chemical purification testwork were also conducted on these samples. Oxide Zone sample proved to be 99.86% TGC pure on an average and Fresh Zone sample achieved a purity of 98.73% TGC on an average, both through non-optimised and low-cost chemical up-grading process, on all fake sizes including the minus 75?m fraction. No grains of hard minerals as quartz in the flake ash could be found by NSG. This result has qualified the Caula project suitable for the production of graphite foil.
On 5th March 2019, the company announced a new date of closing of the Ruby Assets sale transaction
On the technical front, the stock price closed 3.571% up at A$0.029 as of 14th March 2019, compared to the previous closing of A$0.028. In the last six months, the price has fallen by more than 68% whereas YTD return stands at -40.4%.
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