Home' Australian Resources and Investment : September 2014 Contents VOLUME 8 NUMBER 3 • Australian Resources and Investment • 55
is a little bit counterintuitive because the battery guys would
prefer a ner, spherical product, because it has energy density
and holds more current. It's only lab scale at the moment,
but we have a pilot plant going and we can get to 90 per cent
distribution at 6.63 microns, which is actually considered
extremely good. Typically, the Chinese produce spherical
graphite at around 15--20 microns.
The reason that we don't have the vanadium results to date
is because graphite is relatively easy to process, or, certainly,
ours is. It oats, and it oats very well. So, we've got to 96--98
per cent, and even up to 99 per cent concentrate grades just
through simple otation; whereas vanadium is more of a
chemical processing operation. So, we're doing more at the
moment on the vanadium side of things, but we should see a
scoping study in the next four to six weeks. These results are
only on the graphite, with capital cost of around $92 million.
Now, that included a healthy contingency of around 15--20 per
cent, and we believe that we can bring those costs down quite
I've mentioned the opex: $102 per tonne, $198 to the port
of Pemba. In terms of sale price, it depends on the relatively
complex graphite market -- there's no LME price, as such; it's
all based on contract, but we're con dent of getting an average
sale price across a range of products of around $1200--$1500
Some of the drivers of low cost are stated there, and I think
I've covered that already.
The metallurgy is very simple on the graphite. We get to
96--98 per cent of concentrate at the moment, with a recovery
of 92 per cent.
In terms of our gangue, it's basically a bit of quartz, and
a bit of accessory biotite and rutile; so, no nasties in it at all.
We have seen on various internet discussion boards that we're
meant to have uranium contamination, but we've denied it
twice in the ASX, and I'll deny it again; there is no uranium
problem with our deposit. I think that started because we've
got granite joining our deposit, and all granite will have a bit
of radioactivity in it. The previous owners were looking at this
area for uranium, and it was based on a radiometric anomaly,
which was subsequently traced down to the granite.
We're playing a bit of catch-up in terms of vanadium,
and it's mainly because vanadium is a little more complex
compared to the graphite. These are just some of the things
that we're hoping to achieve -- we've got a vanadium scoping
study ongoing. It says 'completed May 2014', which is not
quite right, unfortunately. Our company has received the
data, but it needs a bit more work. The engineering group
that did the study is Chalieco, which is a Chinese subsidiary
and the international engineering arm of Chinalco. They
did a great job, but it needs more consideration in terms of
environmental impacts issues and safety, et cetera.
We're doing a lot more work in terms of the market of
vanadium. There are two main markets for vanadium, and by
far the majority is in the steel industry -- vanadium is used as
a steel strengthener. There is one emerging market, which is
battery use: vanadium redox ow batteries. It's dif cult to get
information on the size of the battery market, but we're talking
to many of the battery manufacturers. There is an industry
there, and a market, but we're trying to work out at the moment
how big it is. It is certainly a very well-developing market.
The vanadium and the graphite separate perfectly. We've tested
our graphite concentrate on a number of occasions, and vanadium
is below detectable limits in the graphite concentrate.
The perception is that Africa has poor infrastructure,
and, generally, I tend to agree with that. We have actually
been a little bit lucky in our location. We're located about
three hours' drive from the Port of Pemba. For those in the
oil and gas industry, Pemba is where many of the large gas
discoveries have been made in Mozambique. I think it's now
the second- or third-largest eld in Mozambique. So, the oil
guys have done us a bit of a favour by putting in pretty good
infrastructure -- and it's only getting better.
The port itself is a deepwater containerised port. We've
had a number of discussions with the port authorities, and
we're con dent that it's got capacity for the volumes that we're
talking about shipping. A lot of stuff comes into that area
because of the oil and gas guys, but not a lot goes out of the
port, so I really believe that we will get very favourable terms
from the authority. Shipping companies just don't like taking
empty containers out, of course.
The road is sealed right from Pemba up until the last 40
kilometres; but even the last 40 kilometres is a very good-
quality unsealed road. The party that is actually doing that
road expects to have it completed by the end of the year.
We've got a dam about 12 kilometres away from the
processing plant site, so we'll have to put in a $2-million
pipeline, but that's it. We've got water rights from that dam
already for our production throughput. We got the water
rights within one day, and I'll talk about political risk if I have
time, but the Mozambique Government is de nitely open
for business. We got our mining licence within four or ve
months of applying for it.
We've got grid power. We've been to the electricity authority,
and there is power for our initial production. If we ramp up,
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