The project has an indicated and inferred resource of 28.8 million tonnes at 7.1% TGC (total graphitic carbon) at 4% TGC cut-off, including a high-grade component of 8.9 million tonnes at 9.9% TGC (7.5% TGC cut-off).
Importantly, 80% of the total saprolite and 80% of the high-grade component is in the indicated resource category.
Sovereign’s shares were last trading 14.29% higher intraday, at $0.12.
The resource estimate confirms the global significance of the Malingunde deposit and provides the basis for a potentially low capex and low opex natural flake graphite operation.
Unlike hard rock graphite mines, the saprolite material does not require primary crushing or grinding which is expected to result in substantially reduced processing costs.
Sovereign’s intention is to focus the upcoming scoping study on the high-grade saprolite resource only.
The 8.9 million tonnes of high-grade material is expected to provide feed material for a significant mine life to be considered in the study.
Furthermore, substantial exploration potential exists within Sovereign’s large 3,788 square kilometre ground package, containing numerous other saprolite prospects discovered but not yet drilled.
Sovereign can now progress completion of the scoping study, leveraging the project’s inherent advantages including its potential to be a low cost operation with best-in-class margins.