- Battery Minerals has teamed up with Urbix to establish a joint venture in Mozambique.
- The companies are planning on developing an environmentally friendly graphite purification facility
- The facility will be using Battery Minerals graphite and Urbix’s technology
- Battery Minerals has gained 12.50 per cent and is selling shares for 0.9¢ apiece
Battery Minerals has signed a deal with U.S. graphite processing specialist, Urbix, with the aim of establishing a joint venture in Mozambique.
Under the MoU, lays the foundation of establishing a Joint Venture which would develop an environmentally friendly graphite purification facility in Mozambique.
It is anticipated that the facility would source graphite concentrate from Battery Minerals, Montepuez graphite project as well as toll-treated graphite from other mines in Mozambique. It will then utilises Urbix’s purification method.
Battery Minerals has two world-class graphite deposits in Mozambique, Montepuez and Balama Central.
On completing the project financing, Battery Minerals intends to commence graphite flake concentrate production from its Montepuez Graphite Project at a rate of 50,000 tonnes per annum, at an average flake concentrate grade of 96 per cent total graphite content.
Urbix specialises in the refinement and purification of natural and advanced graphite and has been a long-time technology partner of Battery Minerals.
Since 2007, the companies have been working together to establish a strategy combining Urbix technologies with Battery Minerals’ graphite concentrates to generate graphite products for the refractory, composites, lithium-ion, and nuclear markets.
The companies are working together to complete all necessary feasibility study work for the proposed facility in Mozambique.
As part of Battery Minerals funding strategy, it has been investigating options to further reduce capital expenditure and therefore reduce the funding requirement.
This has included a review of the owner-operator model currently assumed for Montepuez and an assessment of the potential benefits that may come from using contractors for mining and provision of electrical power generation.
The company is also testing the potential for key contractors to participate in funding for the project. Battery Minerals says there has been an interest based on discussions with potential contractors.
Battery Minerals believes a switch to a contracting model could reduce the current Montepuez project funding of US$55 million to US$49 million.
“The reduction in funding requirement that comes from a reduction in capital (up to US$6 million), combined with the participation of contractors in the funding solution, will need to be weighed up against possible increases in operating costs which may result from this shift toward a contractor model,” the company said.
This strategy has the potential to improve the operational readiness for the project and reduce the training requirements of the operation, by ensuring that qualified contractors are on site.
Battery Minerals Managing Director Jeremy Sinclair believes there is overwhelming evidence that the demand for graphite is going to soar as the take-up of lithium batteries gains speed.
“The proposed processing Joint Venture with Urbix is aimed at ensuring we are well positioned to capitalise on the demand for not only graphite concentrate but also the higher-margin processed product which is essential to the battery manufacturers,” he said.
“At the same time, we believe there is excellent potential to reduce the cost of developing Montepuez through a partnership approach with contractors,” he added.
Battery Minerals has gained 12.50 per cent on the Australian Securities Exchange and is selling shares for 0.9¢ per share at 4:10 pm AEDT.