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International Graphite lauds “world-leading” operation

Updated: May 20

International Graphite has released a scoping study into its mine-to-market graphite strategy in WA. Credit: File

International Graphite says its planned Springdale graphite mine and downstream processing facilities in the Western Australian town of Collie are “world-leading” assets following an integrated mine-to-market scoping study into the operation.

The latest scoping study is based on the company’s decision to now use concentrates produced entirely from its Springfield mine in Hopetoun instead of imported graphite feedstock from a third party.

Management plans to process its Springdale-sourced ore at its Collie processing facility, which sits about 450km from the deposit. The procedure will allow it to transform the raw graphite material into a substance appropriate for use in the construction of lithium-ion batteries.

According to the latest study, International Graphite expects throughput of 500,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) at its proposed Springdale concentrator at an average feed grade of 9.5 per cent total graphitic content (TGC) during the first 15 years of operations. The average concentrate production at Springdale will increase to 45,000tpa compared to the 40,000tpa figure revealed in a previous scoping study released in April last year.

The latest study figures show the capital costs of a mine and concentrator at Springfield come to $76 million at an all-in sustaining cost of $736.47 per tonne of concentrate.

The company’s proposed battery anode material (BAM) facility in Collie using graphite from Springdale would be capable of producing up to 40,000tpa of graphite concentrates, with 18,600tpa of coated spheroidised purified graphite (CSPG) and 20,000tpa of uncoated spheroidised purified graphite (USPG).

Management says the capital cost to deliver the Collie USPG plant comes to $124 million, with an additional $217 million predicted to build the CSPG plant. The net present value (NPV) of an integrated USPG project comes to $375 million at an internal rate of return of 35.8 per cent, while an integrated CSPG project has a predicted NPV of $603 million with an internal rate of return of 30.5 per cent.

The company says operating entirely in WA strengthens its position as a supplier of first choice for global markets.

It estimates an annual EBITDA of $78 million during 15 years of operation to produce USPG and $141.7 million per year to deliver CSPG during the same period.

We now have a clear economic and financial view of the breadth of the Springdale–Collie mine-to-market strategy. Springdale compares exceptionally well with its industry peers across a range of measures, particularly the forecast mine capital and operating costs. Less than 15% of the current Springdale Mineral Resource estimate has been scheduled and modelled so far and the production plan has yet to be optimised at this early stage of investigation. International Graphite managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Worland

Mr Worland added that the company was confident Springdale would be a project of global significance for Australia in the critical battery minerals supply chain.

Just last year, it more than tripled the size of its mineral resource at Springdale to a whopping 49.3 million tonnes at 6.5 per cent TGC. The impressive resource includes a grade increase from the previous figure of 15.3 million tonnes at 6 per cent TGC, with 11.5 million tonnes at 7.5 per cent TGC in the indicated category.

Notably, management says the upgrade has been delivered with only about 10 per cent of the tenement area explored to date and some 20 per cent of its exploration targets tested. About 10 per cent of the new resource has come from drilling at the operation’s new graphite discovery at Mason Bay, 2km east of the main Springdale deposit.

International Graphite says it expects to deliver a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Springdale before the end of the year and has received strong support from both the State and Federal governments in addition to the local communities of Hopetoun, Ravensthorpe and Collie.

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