- A recent pilot program confirms graphite concentrate from BlackEarth Minerals’ (BEM) Maniry Graphite Project can produce expandable graphite
- BEM will use some of the large flake, high-grade product for a graphite production plant with its proposed joint venture partner, Metachem
- The plant is being built in India and will service the rapidly expanding electric vehicle and high growth alternate graphite related markets
- BlackEarth will use the data from the program to complete a definitive feasibility study
- Company shares are up 5.77 per cent to trade at 13.8 cents apiece at 9:18 am AEST
BlackEarth Minerals (BEM) has reported positive results from a recently completed pilot program.
The program confirmed that graphite concentrate from BEM’s Maniry Graphite Project in Madagascar is suitable to produce expandable graphite.
BlackEarth will use a portion of the large flake, high-grade product to feed a planned graphite production plant in India. The plant will be built under an agreement with proposed joint venture partner, Metachem.
In early June, the companies signed a memorandum of understanding to construct the plant, produce expandable graphite and form a joint venture agreement within 180 days.
Expandable graphite can be pressed into sheets to be used for heat and fire protection. This can be used for a range of applications from building materials to consumer electronics and fuel cells.
About 35 per cent of expandable graphite is processed into fire retardants, which is the single biggest end market for expandable graphite. The remaining product is processed into flexible graphite which is the precursor to end products such as graphite foils for use in the automotive, electric vehicle (EV) and alternative energy sectors.
Managing Director Tom Revy said he was pleased with the pilot results and considered it to be a milestone for BlackEarth Minerals.
“Not only are the results better than we expected, they also validate our developed strategy to build a plant that can produce high grade graphite concentrate to meet the expanding demand for graphite,” Mr Revy said.
“In the short term, the data from the pilot program will be used to complete our definitive feasibility study (DFS), confirm our mining licences in Madagascar and finalise our well progressed in country environmental and ESG plans.”
As part of the DFS, BlackEarth is undertaking a drilling program to increase the Maniry project’s existing resource. It’s also developing a production flowsheet, completing environmental studies and preparing drafts for design, engineering and power requirements.
Company shares were up 5.77 per cent to trade at 13.8 cents apiece at 9:18 am AEST.