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International Graphite accelerating mine-to-market strategy

Updated: May 20

The processing facility at International Graphite’s Collie plant. Credit: File

Metallurgical testwork has begun on ore from International Graphite’s Springdale graphite project on Western Australia’s south coast, as the company fast-tracks its integrated “mine-to-market” graphite supply chain strategy.

International Graphite is aiming to be the State’s first mine-to-market producer of battery anode graphite, sourcing material from Springdale and treating it at its downstream processing plant 450km away in Collie.

We are working to establish Springdale as a long term, stable and consistent supplier of high quality graphite concentrates for [battery anode material] processing. It is at the core of our vision for a ‘mine-to-market’ graphite supply chain in Western Australia that will meet the needs of high growth energy markets. International Graphite director and chief technical officer David Pass

The company is rapidly progressing the technical assessments for its proposed open-cut mine at Springdale and is eyeing the completion of a feasibility study by mid-next year. The plans received a boost today when management confirmed that bulk pilot-scale metallurgical testing is now underway at ALS Metallurgy’s pilot concentrate production facilities in Perth.

Preliminary testing has already shown that the Springdale graphite is well suited for battery anode material, but the next stage of assessment will see the laboratory produce about 100kg of graphite concentrate from 1.5 tonnes of sample material. The company says the results will add important data into the design of the Springdale concentrator plant.

The concentrates produced at ALS will also be available for further battery anode material testwork, including at the company’s Collie battery anode material research and development facility where a pilot plant is already producing micronised and spheroidised graphite. The bulk ore samples sent to the lab include material taken from within the existing Springdale mineral resource and from the Springdale Central and Masons Bay targets.

Springdale Central and Masons Bay are two of the company’s four new graphite discoveries that were identified during an extensive reverse-circulation (RC) drilling program at the project in the past year.

International Graphite yesterday announced spectacular assay results from Springdale Central – the second of four new graphite discoveries outside of the existing mineral resources, after Masons Bay, to return highly-promising assay results.

Final assays from the 2022-2023 drilling campaign at Springdale are expected to be completed by the end of this month, with a revised mineral resource estimate for Springdale to follow.

Graphite is the biggest component of lithium-ion batteries for the electric vehicle market, comprising more than half of each one and more than 95 per cent of its anode. International Graphite expects its plant at Collie to produce about 4000 tonnes of micronised graphite each year – the ultrafine material that is used to produce lithium-ion battery anodes.

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