- Comet Resources (CRL) is reporting excellent graphite grades recovered in initial metallurgical testwork on samples from its Springdale project in WA
- Final optimised flotation results achieved a total carbon (TC) grade of 96.9 per cent, with a recovery of 92.5 per cent
- The fine-grained nature of the Springdale graphite may lend itself to high-tech — and lucrative — applications
- The company can now progress testwork on end uses for the product once a bulk sample of the concentrate is produced
- Comet Resources is trading grey today at 1.7 cents per share
Comet Resources (CRL) is reporting excellent graphite grades recovered in initial metallurgical testwork on samples from its Springdale project in WA.
A fine product
Comet is reporting final optimised flotation results achieved a total carbon (TC) grade of 96.9 per cent, with an outstanding recovery of 92.5 per cent.
The company can now progress testwork on end uses for the product once a bulk sample of the concentrate is produced.
One key factor in the test sample produced so far is in its fine grain. Around two-thirds of the product passed through a 38-micron screen, meaning the graphite is ultra-fine, which opens the product to a range of different — and lucrative — uses not suited to large-flake graphite.
Deposits containing such fine graphite are uncommon, meaning the product is in high demand for such applications as battery anodes and lubricants.
Comet Managing Director, Matthew O’Kane, says the results open some exciting doors for the Springdale product.
"The results of this test work, delivering a very high grade, with high recoveries and producing a very unique and potentially high-value product, demonstrate the potential for an economic project at Springdale," Matthew said.
"While large flake graphite is paid a premium versus mid-size flake, high-quality super-fine products attract prices in excess of large flake, with battery anode spherical uncoated product at 25 microns attracting prices of US$2800 (around A$4000) per tonne and at 10 microns US$3800 (about A$5430) per tonne," he added.
Further optimisation testwork is underway to refine the purification process.
Early indications show the reagent consumption can be reduced by 47 per cent with no detrimental effect to overall product grade and recovery.
There are also signs flotation stages can be reduced by 36 per cent, further reducing capital requirements and operating costs.
The testwork will also investigate three different processes to increase the saleability and profitability of the Springdale graphite.
Purification to 99.9 per cent carbon product would enable use in high-tech applications like batteries.
Micronising the product would allow for use in industrial applications requiring high-quality small-flake graphite.
Production of spherical graphite would also open the door for use in lithium-ion batteries for the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market.
Once the required bulk sample of float concentrate is ready for shipping, Comet can embark on the exciting next phase of work to test the possibilities of its Springdale graphite.
Comet Resources is trading grey today at 1.7 cents per share as at 1:20 pm AEST.