Proactiveinvestors Australia Black Rock Mining Ltd https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au Proactiveinvestors Australia Black Rock Mining Ltd RSS feed en Thu, 21 Mar 2019 04:37:59 +1100 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[Media files - Black Rock Mining preparing for second graphite pilot plant test in China ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/12612/black-rock-mining-preparing-for-second-graphite-pilot-plant-test-in-china-12612.html Fri, 15 Mar 2019 06:15:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/12612/black-rock-mining-preparing-for-second-graphite-pilot-plant-test-in-china-12612.html <![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining focuses on 2020 vision for Mahenge Graphite Project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/216233/black-rock-mining-focuses-on-2020-vision-for-mahenge-graphite-project-216233.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) specialises in exploration and development in Tanzania. It is run by John de Vries, a mining engineer who has more than 30 years experience leading multi-disciplinary teams in the mining and support industries. De Vries’ focus is on building shareholder value through successfully delivering a mine that builds and supports the Tanzanian community.

What does Black Rock own?

The key asset is the wholly-owned and licensed Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.

Mahenge is only 70 kilometres by road from a Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority rail network that runs direct to the country’s principal port at Dar es Salaam.

Black Rock revealed yesterday it had raised $3 million with an oversubscribed placement to high-quality investors to finance final engineering activities at the mining project to make it construction-ready.

The company’s Mahenge project has one of the largest JORC-compliant flake-graphite mineral resource estimates in the world, with 212 million tonnes grading 7.8% total graphitic carbon (TGC).

Its ore reserve of 70 million tonnes grading 8.5% TGC and could support a 25-year mine life where 250,000 tonnes of graphite are mined each year.

The ore reserve is the second largest contained graphite reserve of any listed company while its resource is number four.

Black Rock published a bankable definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the project in October 2018 and modelled a 32-year mine valued at US$895 million (now A$1.3 billion) using an after-tax unlevered net present value (NPV10) calculated at a 10 discount.

The study’s corresponding internal rate of return (IRR) was 42.8%.

Black Rock’s all-in sustaining cost (AISC) margin was 63.6%.

The DFS put average steady state production rate at 250,000 tonnes a year of concentrate grading 98.5%, while total life-of-mine concentrate production was 6.6 million tonnes at 98.5%.

Black Rock has the option of producing ultra purity flake of 99% LOI the project, given its pilot plant and laboratory successes.

Capital expenditure (capex) needed for phase I production of 83,000 tonnes a year was US$115 million, taking into account a 10% contingency.

Capex for phase II, which will add another 83,000 tonnes a year of production, was US$69.5 million with a 15% contingency.

Phase III capex for another of 83,000 tonnes a year was US$84.2 million with a 15% contingency.

The company’s life-of-mine C1 costs free-on-board (FOB) at Dar were US$401 a tonne, while its life-of-mine all-in sustaining costs for Dar were US$473 a tonne and its concentrate basket FOB cost was US$1,301 a tonne.

Who will buy Black Rock’s products?

At the time of its DFS, the company had already inked a three-year 90,000-tonne-a-year blended Mahenge graphite concentrate supply deal with Heilongjiang Bohao Graphite Company Limited.

The three-year agreement committed Black Rock to supplying 30,000 tonnes of blended graphite concentrate in year 1, 50,000 tonnes in year 2, and up to 90,000 tonnes in year 3.

West Perth-based Black Rock’s deal fully booked and exceeded the concentrate capacity of the first plant in its scaled-up production model.

Later that month Black Rock signed an agreement with China-based Qingdao Fujin Graphite Company Limited to supply 15,000 tonnes per year for up to three years.

Qingdao Fujin focuses heavily on the small to mid-size battery market and produces anode product for customers across Asia and China.

In January, the company agreed to a third graphite production take deal, with Taihe Soar, for the annual supply of up to 100,000 tonnes.

The three-year Taihe deal effectively booked up 205,000 tonnes, or 82%, of the project’s planned production of 249,000 tonnes.

Black Rock’s production take agreements require all three plant modules modelled in the DFS to be built.

What is Black Rock’s focus?

Black Rock is advancing both final engineering works and financing efforts for building Mahenge project.

The company hopes to start construction this year and become a producer next year.

It aims to target multiple graphite end-users for its future products, including expanded graphite markets and the electric vehicle battery market.

Black Rock has been working with EPC partner Yantai Jinyuan on DFS optimisation work to reduce capex through Chinese procurement processes, with the partner to also run a 20-tonne demonstration plant.

A large sample will be tested at the pilot plant in a commercial-sized spheronisation circuit to evaluate yields and support market price discovery.

The Australian company has tipped it expects the plant is likely to lead to EPC formation, US$20 million of vendor support and up to US$20 million of additional vendor-sponsored external support.

Potential investors, existing production take parties and extra potential offtakers from China, Korea and Japan were to visit the plant this month.

Earlier this month, Black Rock highlighted the TGC grading had again been achieved with a 93% recovery of oxide ore from Mahenge during a FEED (front end engineering design) process being undertaken at laboratory scale in China by the company’s Chinese EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) partner Yantai Jinyuan Mining Machinery Ltd.

Concentrate previously produced at a 90-tonne Canadian pilot plant by SGS Lakeshore Laboratories from Mahenge’s Ultra Purity-FP Flake Graphite had a minimum purity of 99.0% LOI (loss-on-ignition) during testing and a good reception from potential customers.

Black Rock added to the $1.3 million cash it had on December 31 with its $3 million capital raising from institutional and sophisticated investors unveiled yesterday.

Inflection points

DFS optimisation and Chinese procurement works

Additional production take or offtake agreements

A fourth module for concentrate production to build on the three modelled in the three-phase DFS

Financing progression as the company aims to successively build the project

CEO & executive director John de Vries notes mining licence achievement

“A really important milestone... the end of the principal permitting stage of the project; and from now on (the company) just moves forward with detailed engineering work and financing,” CEO & executive director John de Vries told Proactive investors two weeks ago.

“We’re still confident that towards the end of 2020 we’ll start seeing the first product of the world’s best graphite concentrate hit the market.”

Black Rock CEO & executive director John de Vries will deliver a presentation titled “Mahenge: Best in class graphite project” in Perth today at 1.20pm (10.20am local time) on day 1 of the March 12-13 Paydirt's Battery Minerals Conference. He will also take part in an Africa panel discussion at 6.20pm (3.20pm WST) today.

 

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Mon, 11 Mar 2019 20:05:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/216233/black-rock-mining-focuses-on-2020-vision-for-mahenge-graphite-project-216233.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining Ltd raises $3.0 million to make graphite mine construction-ready ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/216134/black-rock-mining-ltd-raises-30-million-to-make-graphite-mine-construction-ready-216134.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has successfully raised $3.0 million through an oversubscribed share placement to institutional and sophisticated investors.

Under the capital raising, 46.15 million shares will be placed to investors at an issue price of 6.5 cents per share.

Placement proceeds will finance final engineering activities to make the Mahenge Graphite Mine construction-ready.

This follows on from the recent award of the mining licence and the signing of substantial off-takes.

READ: Black Rock Mining given licensing green light for Mahenge Graphite Project

Black Rock’s CEO John de Vries said: “This placement of $3 million enables Black Rock to complete final engineering to become construction ready for the 250,000 tonne per annum Mahenge Graphite Mine.

“We have already demonstrated industry leading concentrate grade and likely lowest cost into the supply chain, given our grade, strip ratio, grid electricity and logistics solution.

“In addition, we have secured up to 205,000 tonnes per annum of off-take to credible graphite industry participants.

“In just over two years we have advanced Mahenge from a scoping study to a fully permitted project.

“This progress has only been possible through the support of our shareholders.

“We thank new and existing shareholders for their continued support of the company as we develop the world’s premier graphite project.”

READ: Black Rock Mining replicates 99%+ graphitic carbon concentrate from Mahenge ore

Earlier this month, Black Rock delivered a 99%+ TGC (total graphitic carbon) concentrate at 93% recovery using ore from its Mahenge Graphite Mine.

This was achieved during FEED (Front End Engineering Design) process being undertaken in China by Black Rock’s Chinese EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) partner Yantai Jinyuan Mining Machinery Ltd.

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Mon, 11 Mar 2019 11:52:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/216134/black-rock-mining-ltd-raises-30-million-to-make-graphite-mine-construction-ready-216134.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining enters trading halt ahead of proposed equity raising ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215959/black-rock-mining-enters-trading-halt-ahead-of-proposed-equity-raising-215959.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has been granted a trading halt by the ASX this morning pending the release of information regarding a proposed equity raising.

Shares in the company will remain halted until the earlier of, either the release of relevant information, or the commencement of trading on Monday 11 March 2019.

READ: Black Rock Mining replicates 99%+ graphitic carbon concentrate from Mahenge ore

Black Rock recently delivered a 99%+ TGC (total graphitic carbon) concentrate at 93% recovery using ore from its Mahenge Graphite Mine in Tanzania.

This was achieved during FEED (Front End Engineering Design) process being undertaken in China by Black Rock’s Chinese EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) partner Yantai Jinyuan Mining Machinery Ltd.

Samples are being subjected to detailed multi-element analysis to better understand the deportment of gangue minerals prior to an optimisation program.

 

On delivery of a final flowsheet and metallurgical plan, Yantai will conduct a 20-tonne pilot plant at associated facilities to validate the optimised design flow sheet under continuous operation.

Pilot plant operations are scheduled to commence at the end of March 2019.

During operation of the pilot plant, selected potential investors and new and existing offtake partners have been given the opportunity to review plant performance and perform further independent due diligence on plant operation and concentrate attributes.

On successful operation of the pilot plant, Yantai Jinyuan and Black Rock will seek to enter into an EPC contract for delivery of plant, process and infrastructure equipment and installation for the Mahenge Graphite Project.

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Thu, 07 Mar 2019 12:53:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215959/black-rock-mining-enters-trading-halt-ahead-of-proposed-equity-raising-215959.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining replicates 99%+ graphitic carbon concentrate from Mahenge ore ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215578/black-rock-mining-replicates-99-graphitic-carbon-concentrate-from-mahenge-ore-215578.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has delivered a 99%+ TGC (total graphitic carbon) concentrate at 93% recovery using ore from its Mahenge Graphite Mine in Tanzania.

This was achieved during FEED (Front End Engineering Design) process being undertaken in China by Black Rock’s Chinese EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) partner Yantai Jinyuan Mining Machinery Ltd.

READ: Black Rock Mining given licensing green light for Mahenge Graphite Project

Yantai successfully replicated work completed in Canada by SGS Lakeshore Laboratories by delivering a 99%+ TGC concentrate at lab scale from oxide ore.

Importantly, the results were achieved without secondary leaching or any chemical intervention.

Samples are being subjected to detailed multi-element analysis to better understand the deportment of gangue minerals prior to an optimisation program to be conducted over the next couple of weeks.

 

On delivery of a final flowsheet and metallurgical plan, Yantai will conduct a 20-tonne pilot plant at associated facilities to validate the optimised design flow sheet under continuous operation.

The recommended flow sheet will be reviewed and approved by CPC Engineering and Design who completed the Mahenge DFS, prior to final authority to operate the pilot plant.

READ: Black Rock Mining DFS values Tanzania graphite project at US$895 million

Pilot plant operations are scheduled to commence at the end of March 2019.

During operation of the pilot plant, selected potential investors and new and existing offtake partners have been given the opportunity to review plant performance and perform further independent due diligence on plant operation and concentrate attributes.

On successful operation of the pilot plant, Yantai Jinyuan and Black Rock will seek to enter into an EPC contract for delivery of plant, process and infrastructure equipment and installation for the Mahenge Graphite Project.

READ: Black Rock Mining’s third deal takes graphite offtake to 85% of planned annual production

Black Rock chief executive officer John de Vries said: “Being able to demonstrate the efficacy and performance of our Mahenge ore to deliver the world’s highest grade concentrates, by our Chinese partners, is a significant step in validating our credentials in our most important offtake market.

“The operation of a pilot plant in front of investors and our offtake partners is a novel step in project financing, however leaves absolutely no doubt as to expected asset and product performance, which we are confident of achieving.

“We believe this process will support price discovery based on transparent product parameters.”

 

Vries added: “We are absolutely delighted with how the three way relationship between Black Rock, Yantai Jinyuan Mining Machinery and CPC Engineering and Design has matured.

“The levels of cooperation and strategic planning provides me with a lot of confidence in our ability to deliver in full, on time and to specification.

“We continue to see interest in financing Mahenge. Solid progress on de-risking our project delivery and awarding of the Mining Licences will support continued progress to developing a funding solution for Mahenge.”

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Fri, 01 Mar 2019 13:52:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215578/black-rock-mining-replicates-99-graphitic-carbon-concentrate-from-mahenge-ore-215578.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining given licensing green light for Mahenge Graphite Project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215266/black-rock-mining-given-licensing-green-light-for-mahenge-graphite-project-215266.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has been granted two mining licences which allow for development of the flagship Mahenge Graphite Mine in Tanzania.

The two contiguous mining licences, ML 00668/2018 and ML 00669/2018, were granted to subsidiary Mahenge Resources by the Tanzanian Ministry of Minerals.

They complement the Environmental Permit awarded on September 5, 2018.

Black Rock Mining CEO John de Vries said: “This milestone is a significant step in delivering the Mahenge Graphite Mine.

“Licensing gives all stakeholders comfort that Tanzania wants this project to be developed.

“Securing the Mining Licences is the final step in allowing us to obtain financing to construct the mine.”

Shares up 6%

Shares were up almost 6% initially to 9.3 cents.

The combined area of the two licences is 19.68 square kilometres covering the entire Mahenge mine project development program consistent with the definitive feasibility study (DFS) released on October 24, 2018.

They also encompass the Epanko area and intermediate areas, which are considered as prospective for extensional mineralisation, and were not included in the DFS mine development.

READ: Black Rock Mining receives valuation range of 16-40 cents in 68-page report

Subject to completion of detailed engineering and financing, Black Rock is now in a position to begin construction of the graphite mine.

De Vries said: “We remain convinced this is the most compelling graphite development project globally.”

Positive financial metrics

He stated that the project’s “best in class financial metrics” were supported by:

- 90-tonne pilot plant delivering eight tonnes of product to over 20 global customers;

- The only project capable of delivering a concentrate grade of over 99% without the use of acid;

- The second largest graphite reserve supporting a 32-year mine life at 250,000 tonnes per annum with a study underway to increase this;

- Best in class logistics supported by rail to the largest port in the region; and

- Binding offtakes for up to 205,000 tonnes per annum in our third year of operation.

READ: Black Rock Mining’s third deal takes graphite offtake to 85% of planned annual production

Offtake arrangements for Mahenge graphite.

Black Rock’s CEO added: “Our next steps are to close out ongoing financing discussions and to complete the detailed engineering to enable the commencement of construction.”

The licences have a term of 10 years before mandatory renewal.

READ: Black Rock Mining substantial shareholder lifts stake to 21.52%

Mahenge has a JORC-compliant resource estimate of 212 million tonnes at 7.8% TGC incorporating reserves of 70 million tonnes at 8.5% TGC.

This reserve supports a mine life of 250,000 tonnes of graphite per annum for 25 years.

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Tue, 26 Feb 2019 11:33:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215266/black-rock-mining-given-licensing-green-light-for-mahenge-graphite-project-215266.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Black Rock Mining's Mahenge Graphite Project has been granted mining permits ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/12351/black-rock-mining-s-mahenge-graphite-project-has-been-granted-mining-permits-12351.html Tue, 26 Feb 2019 10:27:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/12351/black-rock-mining-s-mahenge-graphite-project-has-been-granted-mining-permits-12351.html <![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining substantial shareholder lifts stake to 21.52% ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/214602/black-rock-mining-substantial-shareholder-lifts-stake-to-2152-214602.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) substantial shareholder Copulos Group has increased its holding in the African-focused graphite developer to 21.52% from 20.38% after a series of recent on-market transactions.

Copulos Group and its associated entities have added more than 6.21 million shares in three transactions with a total value of almost $400,000.

READ: Black Rock Mining’s former board member increases stake to 20.38%

The total holding of the group, which is directly related to the company’s former chairman and non-executive director Stephen Copulos, now stands at almost 116 million shares.

READ: Black Rock Mining’s third deal takes graphite offtake to 85% of planned annual production

Early this year the company signed a third offtake agreement which when added to two other deals could represent about 85% of proposed annual natural flake graphite production from Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.

The three-year agreement with Chinese trading house Taihe Soar (Dalian) Supply Chain Management Co Ltd is for the annual supply of up to 100,000 tonnes of sized graphite concentrate by year three.

Combined annual tonnage of all three offtake agreements is up to 205,000 tonnes by year three.

This offtake agreement with Taihe Soar adds to Black Rock’s first and second agreements with Heilongjiang Bohao and Qingdao Fujin.

READ: Black Rock Mining receives valuation range of 16-40 cents in 68-page report

In mid-January, Black Rock has labelled undervalued in a 68-page special research report by Simon Francis of Orior Capital which also placed a valuation range of 14-60 cents on the company.

At the time that was four to 11 times the then share price of 3.8 cents.

This month the company’s stock has reached a 12-month high of 8.1 cents and today is trading at 8 cents.

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Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:54:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/214602/black-rock-mining-substantial-shareholder-lifts-stake-to-2152-214602.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Black Rock Mining 'unjustifiably cheap' according to Orior Capital research report ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/12032/black-rock-mining--unjustifiably-cheap--according-to-orior-capital-research-report-12032.html Wed, 30 Jan 2019 13:28:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/12032/black-rock-mining--unjustifiably-cheap--according-to-orior-capital-research-report-12032.html <![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining suggests three potential reasons for ASX speeding ticket ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/213002/black-rock-mining-suggests-three-potential-reasons-for-asx-speeding-ticket-213002.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has received a price query from the ASX after its shares reached 5.6 cents yesterday, well above the recent trading range around 3.5 cents.

The company responded to the price query saying it was not aware of any information concerning it that has not been announced to the market which, if known by some in the market could explain the recent price movement.

It did, however, note a number of potential reasons for the recent price move being i) a recent research report, ii) offtake agreements, and iii) mining licence updates.

READ: Black Rock Mining receives valuation range of 16-40 cents in 68-page report

On Friday 19 January 2019, the company released a commissioned report prepared by Orior Capital via email and via its website.

The company noted the report “was part of our financing strategy and post the release of our stunning definitive feasibility study, Orior Capital was commissioned by Black Rock Mining to undertake a review of the business and graphite sector.”

READ: Black Rock Mining’s third deal takes graphite offtake to 85% of planned annual production

On 7 January 2019, Black Rock announced it had secured a third binding offtake agreement.

The combined tonnage of all three offtake agreements is up to 205,000  tonnes per annum of product by year three.

Mining licence status upgraded from submitted to recommended

Regarding the mining licence, Black lodged its mining licence applicated on 9 November 2018, through the online Tanzanian Mining Cadestre Portal.

The licence status was upgraded from submitted to recommended on 10 January 2019.

Tanzanian authorities have commenced routine processing and approval of new and renewal of mining licences including those submitted by Australian mining companies.

Black Rock understands there are meetings scheduled this week in Tanzania where new mining licences may be issued, which may or may not include Black Rock’s application.

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Tue, 22 Jan 2019 09:07:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/213002/black-rock-mining-suggests-three-potential-reasons-for-asx-speeding-ticket-213002.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining receives valuation range of 16-40 cents in 68-page report ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212833/black-rock-mining-receives-valuation-range-of-16-40-cents-in-68-page-report-212833.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has been labelled undervalued in a 68-page special research report by Simon Francis of Orior Capital.

The company is developing the Mahenge Graphite Project in south-eastern Tanzania.

Black Rock published a definitive feasibility study (DFS) in October 2018, which followed the pre-feasibility study (PFS) completed in April 2017.

The following is an extract from the report:

 

Unjustifiably cheap. The project has a post-tax, unlevered NPV10 of US$895m, and an IRR of ~43%, both net of the Tanzanian government’s 16% stake. The NPV is ~7x the initial capex requirement of US$115m. Despite these strong metrics, Black Rock’s market capitalisation is less than 2% of NPV. Assuming total initial capital required of US$140m, 80:20 debt-to-equity funding, equity being issued at A$0.10 to A$0.15 per share, and a fair EV valuation, 12 months from now, of 30-50% of NPV, then Black Rock’s EV could be US$269m to US$448m. This equates to a valuation of A$0.16-0.40 per share, ~4-11x the current share price.

Opportunity knocks: In a sample of eight ASX-listed African graphite developers, there is only a US$16m difference in market capitalisation between the largest and smallest. The market is not differentiating between projects, meaning it has so far failed to take advantage of the opportunity in Black Rock.

Compelling project, with substantial cash flows: The DFS envisages a three-phase project ultimately producing 240,000 tpa high-grade graphite. When completed, Black Rock is likely to be the 2nd largest miner of natural flake graphite in the world ex-China. Based on DFS figures of a US$1,301/t basket selling price, and US$401/t C1 costs, annual EBITDA will be around US$216m, equating to an EBITDA margin of 69%. The project is expected to generate US$313m in EBITDA over the first three years. This strong cash generation is expected to support a high-level of debt financing, limiting the dilution to existing shareholders.

Risk mitigation a key part of the DFS: The DFS was compiled after more than 25,000 man-hours of work. It incorporates the results from a large-scale pilot plant, improvements in the plant design over 15 iterations, a decision to use dry-stacking, development of an ultra-high-grade graphite product, logistics tests on the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) railway, customer testing of Mahenge graphite products, and operational readiness work designed to provide a smooth ramp-up, and to address concentrate transportation. Management’s approach has been to reduce as many risks as possible.

Significant advantages, both geological…: Mahenge hosts the 2nd largest graphite reserve, and the 4thth largest JORC-compliant graphite resource globally. The resource is biased towards larger flake sizes. Strip ratios are low. Impurities are at a minimum. Black Rock has demonstrated the ability to produce amongst the highest quality products globally, without chemical interference. This means lower capital and operating costs, less environmental impact, and a differentiated high-value product. The use of dry-stacking means there is no need for wet tailings dams, and the risks they impose. There is no need to dispose of used hydrofluoric acid, which can be difficult.

…And geographical. Access to key infrastructure is excellent, and provides the Mahenge project with a long-term sustainable cost advantage. This includes the TAZARA railway line, which feeds directly into the port of Dar es Salaam. The port is an internationally vital trade link serving seven countries. It handles 95% of Tanzania’s trade cargoes. There is frequent shipping to key markets in Asia. The Tanzania Electric Supply Co Ltd (TANESCO) will provide grid power. Excellent logistics ensures there is no need for unsafe several hundredkilometre truck journeys, no uncertainty as to available port capacity, no barging and reloading, and no need for expensive diesel generators on site.

Phases 1 and 2 are already sold out: Critically, Black Rock spent the past year demonstrating a path to market. A large-scale pilot plant, an order of magnitude larger than the next, enabled delivery of certified samples to customers and laboratories. Feedback has been hugely positive. Three offtake agreements have been signed for a combined 205,000 tpa (in the third year), representing 85% of planned production, and an astonishing ~23% of 2017 global natural graphite demand. Notably, two of the agreements – those with Heilongjiang Bohao and Taihe Soar – are believed to be the two largest offtake agreements signed by any graphite company, either in production or development. The agreements cover a variety of end-use applications including expandable graphite, and energy storage. The agreements will enable Black Rock to establish branding in the energy storage market. The agreements are a testament to Black Rock’s notion that Mahenge graphite has unique properties that make it highly desirable to end-users.

Graphite demand growth accelerating: The births of the electric vehicle and energy storage systems markets have transformed the graphite market from a mature one, to one with rapid growth prospects. Both these industries are embryonic in nature, and growing at a terrific pace. There is also huge pent-up demand for expandable graphite for use in the foil and fire retardant segments. Demand for fire retardants is being driven by technological developments and more stringent safety standards in automotive, aerospace, and in building and construction after a number of large fires. Demand for natural flake graphite (excluding amorphous graphite) is expected to more than double over the next decade from ~630,000 tpa in 2017 to ~1.4m tpa in 2027. Even before accounting for any further curtailment in Chinese supply, the world could need the equivalent of three “Mahenges” to meet demand over the next decade.

Chinese supply is under pressure: Supplies of large flake graphite from China are dwindling as resources are depleted. Combined with strong growth in the expandable market, China is now short of large flake graphite, and has started importing +50 mesh material from East Africa. Environmental controls, mainly aimed at restricting the use of acids in graphite beneficiation, are being more strictly enforced. Over time, purer graphite sources are likely to attract premium prices.

Outlook for prices is excellent: The combination of new industries experiencing peak demand growth, and challenged supply out of China, the world’s largest producer, suggest a strong outlook for graphite prices. Experience from the iron ore and coal markets in the mid-2000s, suggests that increasing Chinese imports (or decreasing exports), may have a significantly positive impact on market prices. As a result, there is an immediate opportunity in large flake graphite, with new suppliers of high-quality materials able to sell into a rapid growth market that is seeing shortages.

Not all graphite is created equal; market segmentation is key: The market can be broadly divided into three categories;

Large flake: The market for 80 mesh and larger has massive pent-up demand, and is supply constrained. Changes in building regulations and challenged Chinese supply suggest an increasingly tight market with strong price outcomes. There is a step change in pricing above 98% purity and 80 mesh.

Battery grade: Typically, 150 to 80 mesh. The market has been demand constrained, though forecasts of exponential growth in the electric vehicle space suggest this will change quickly. High-grades, and spheronizing performance are differentiating factors. ‘Dirty’ concentrates containing impurities such as vanadium and others, will attract lower prices, and are at risk of stricter environmental controls in China. Selling directly to larger battery makers, where qualification can take years, is difficult. Establishing channels is critical.

Refractory grade: Generally, smaller flakes and lower grades, used in steel making and other metallurgy. Lower prices, and essentially the market of last resort for a graphite company. (Some high-end applications require premium product). Black Rock has unearthed significant demand for large flake, high-purity graphite. The company has also established channels for the battery sector through offtakes with Heilongjiang Bohao (which supplies the German automotive industry), and Qingdao Fujin Graphite (anodes for consumer electronics). Black Rock’s initial battery tests were conducted at a US-based, ISO-compliant laboratory. Battery cells produced from surface coated, spheronized natural flake from Ulanzi, exceeded 300 cycles, with a 94% recharge rate. The cells also had flatter performance curves than an existing commercial battery, indicating potential for longer battery life. This is a significant result that bodes well for future development. Few new projects are of global scale. The combination of strong demand, and challenged Chinese supply, has motivated a plethora of new projects in East Africa. Most of these are relatively small scale. The obvious hurdle many will face is completing a detailed DFS study that will be necessary to secure funding. Black Rock has set the bar in this regard. Further, many projects seem focused on the electric vehicle revolution. Though exciting, the market is currently small, and qualification periods, as for anything in the automotive sector, are long. Companies focusing on this space will need to find other markets to sustain themselves through this qualification period. It seems likely that over the next few years, supply from East Africa will become dominated by two large producers in Syrah Resources (SYR.AX), and Black Rock, with a number of smaller players serving niche markets.

Tanzania: Tanzania’s reset of its legislative code in 2017/18 negatively impacted risk perceptions, and the capacity to raise debt finance from traditional sources, and hit share prices. Yet over the past year, Tanzania has made great strides. Companies report that engagement with the government has been positive, and that projects that contribute positively to Tanzania’s development are being approved. Black Rock expects its mining licenses to be approved in early-2019. The country has a fast-growing economy, benefits from a young and educated workforce, and there is rapid investment in infrastructure. The government’s vision is for Tanzania to be semi-industrialised (manufacturing represents 40% of GDP) by 2025. In summary, the Mahenge graphite project has been thoroughly conceived. It boasts significant and sustainable natural advantages, it stands to benefit Tanzania directly through shared ownership, upgraded infrastructure, and increased employment, and it looks like coming on stream into a period of peak demand growth. Consequently, it also seems likely to reward shareholders.

 

As part of its financing strategy and post the DFS, Orior Capital was commissioned by Black Rock Mining to undertake a review of the business and graphite sector.

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Fri, 18 Jan 2019 10:56:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212833/black-rock-mining-receives-valuation-range-of-16-40-cents-in-68-page-report-212833.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining’s former board member increases stake to 20.38% ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212273/black-rock-minings-former-board-member-increases-stake-to-2038-212273.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has revealed an increase in holding from substantial shareholder Copulos Group to 20.38% from 18.66%.

Notably, Copulos Group is directly related to the company’s former chairman and non-executive director Stephen Copulos.

The holdings increase follows newsflow earlier this weak revealing that Black Rock had signed a third off-take agreement for its flagship Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.

READ: Black Rock Mining’s third deal takes graphite offtake to 85% of planned annual production

This recent deal along with the two prior off-takes could represent about 85% of proposed annual natural flake graphite production from Mahenge.

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Thu, 10 Jan 2019 12:54:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212273/black-rock-minings-former-board-member-increases-stake-to-2038-212273.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining’s third deal takes graphite offtake to 85% of planned annual production ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211999/black-rock-minings-third-deal-takes-graphite-offtake-to-85-of-planned-annual-production-211999.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has signed a third offtake agreement which when added to two other deals could represent about 85% of proposed annual natural flake graphite production from Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.

The three-year agreement with Chinese trading house Taihe Soar (Dalian) Supply Chain Management Co Ltd is for the annual supply of up to 100,000 tonnes of sized graphite concentrate by year three.

Combined annual tonnage of all three offtake agreements is up to 205,000 tonnes by year three.

READ: Black Rock Mining focuses on multiple graphite end-users

Black Rock’s CEO John de Vries said the company was excited to announce a third offtake agreement.

“This offtake agreement is significant as having effectively sold out modules 1 and 2, clearly demonstrates that strong market demand exists for Mahenge’s unique premium and ultra products.

“It would not have been possible, without access to concentrate from Black Rock’s study staged pilot plant, the largest in the sector.

“The pilot plant has been fundamental to the success of our marketing strategy.”

This offtake agreement with Taihe Soar adds to Black Rock’s first and second agreements with Heilongjiang Bohao and Qingdao Fujin.

READ: Black Rock Mining signs second graphite offtake agreement

Combined, these offtakes could represent about 85% of proposed steady-state annual production of 240,000 tonnes.

The agreements have been signed via Black Rock’s 100%-owned Tanzanian subsidiary, Mahenge Resources Limited.

De Vries said: “This agreement opens a third sales channel to us through use of a distributor model to access smaller volume consumers that would normally not have access to international markets.

“Taihe Soar’s capacity to deploy over US$200 million in trading assets and turn over in excess of US$400 million per annum positions Black Rock with a strong financial partner with the necessary skills to manage smaller entities not normally available to African developers.”

One of world’s largest flake graphite resources

Mahenge is one of the world’s largest JORC-compliant flake graphite resources with a resource estimate of 211.9 million tonnes at 7.8% total graphitic carbon (TGC) for 16.6 million tonnes of contained graphite.

More than 50% of this resource is in the measured and indicated categories while the ore reserve of 68.6 million tonnes grading 8.5% TGC is the second largest contained graphite reserve of any listed company.

READ: Black Rock Mining executives dig deep to support Tanzanian graphite strategy

The agreement with Taihe Soar includes the supply of up to 37,500 tonnes in year one, 80,000 tonnes in year two and 100,000 tonnes in the third year.

Pricing is to be agreed under the terms of a formal agreement to be entered into by the parties within 12 months of execution of the offtake agreement.

This will be set quarterly with reference to market price for flake size and concentrate grade.

The offtake agreement and obligation to deliver product is subject to Black Rock completing construction of the Mahenge mine and associated infrastructure and beginning operations.

Optimising mine plan

As a result of the offtake agreements, Black Rock has started work to optimise its mine plan by compressing its development schedule and working on a fourth self-funding module to take proposed annual production to over 300,000 tonnes.

This increase is supported by the resources and reserves that provide for a 32-year mine life.

“We continue to build momentum through a differentiated marketing strategy, targeting the expanded graphite market,” de Vries said.

Strong market interest

“Continued market interest in our large, high purity, premium and ultra flake products supports our position that the expanded graphite market is supply constrained.

“Being able to place the volumes that we have in the expanded graphite market suggests that significantly more demand exists in this sector than many commentators have anticipated.”

“We will continue to explore further opportunities in the expanded market and understand how these opportunities translate into increased ramp-up rates and additional capacity.

“We remain active in financial markets and are confident that we will secure access to development funding in time to meet our project schedule.”

Targeting multiple end-users

Rather than just focusing on the electric vehicle battery market, Black Rock is targeting multiple end-users with a particular focus on expanded graphite markets.

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Mon, 07 Jan 2019 10:02:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211999/black-rock-minings-third-deal-takes-graphite-offtake-to-85-of-planned-annual-production-211999.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Black Rock Mining sells out Mahenge Project DFS with third offtake agreement ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11709/black-rock-mining-sells-out-mahenge-project-dfs-with-third-offtake-agreement-11709.html Sun, 06 Jan 2019 20:03:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11709/black-rock-mining-sells-out-mahenge-project-dfs-with-third-offtake-agreement-11709.html <![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining focuses on multiple graphite end-users ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211446/black-rock-mining-focuses-on-multiple-graphite-end-users-211446.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has 16.6 million tonnes of contained graphite at its flagship Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania, but rather than just focusing on the electric vehicle battery market, it is targeting multiple end-users with a particular focus on expanded graphite markets.

The company’s Mahenge project has one of the largest JORC-compliant flake-graphite mineral resource estimates in the world, with 211.9 million tonnes grading 7.8% total graphitic carbon (TGC).

Its ore reserve of 68.6 million tonnes grading 8.5% TGC is the second largest contained graphite reserve of any listed company.

BIG PICTURE: Black Rock Mining DFS values Tanzania graphite project at US$895 million

Black Rock chief executive officer John de Vries is no fence sitter when it comes to whether companies should just focus on trying to supply the EV market battery segment.

He told Proactive Investors he believed companies ‘owe it to investors’ to have multiple potential target markets so they are not beholden to the vagaries of some market segments that have lengthy pre-qualification periods and high barriers to entry.

De Vries said, “The thing about graphite is, we’ve painted it as the field of dreams, we all dream of a better future with EVs, that’s cool, but this isn’t Kansas Dorothy, you can’t click your heels three times and hope you’ve got an EV factory.

“Everyone in the graphite sector is banging on about EVs, which is good thank you, we all believe in EVs, but the reality is you need to have multiple target markets.

“Some target markets will be quick to adopt your product and deliver revenues quickly, whilst others will be slow to adopt but will likely pay a premium price and sign up for lengthy supply deals.

“You need to play both a short game and a long game, running different target-market entry strategies at the same time.”

I

The three graphite mineralised structures at Mahenge project in Tanzania

Graphite deposit holders need to be pragmatic, de Vries believes.

“Graphite is not a walk up, turn it on and you’re in business, this is not a gold mine where day one you produce ore that’s shipped off to the Perth Mint and you get paid.

“Segmenting the market and focusing on distribution channels highlighted a gap in the market for large high-quality flake for the expanded graphite market.

“This is ideally suited for us as our product is unique in its grade, and opens up some of the higher performance expanded materials segments. Importantly you can demonstrate product performance off a decent-sized sample.”

“The bottom line is that to get into production for a graphite mine you need to have multiple potential customers across multiple different end uses, including expanded graphite, consumer batteries and EV batteries.

Do the work, get the finance

Black Rock’s CEO believes graphite companies are unlikely to gain finance to build their mines going forward if they don’t produce definitive feasibility studies.

He said, “I have spent over 30 years in this industry and time and time again I see examples of people building mines off a pre-feasibility study and then wondering why it doesn’t work properly.

“You need to do a high-quality definitive feasibility study because you’re inviting massive underperformance if you don’t do that.

“The evidence is doing good work delivers. A pilot plant 10 times bigger than anybody else, gave us incredible design data and product that we could engage customers with.

“The result is clear, we got offtakes on the back of that plant.”

ASX-listed company, first-to-market producer Syrah Resources Ltd (ASX:SYR) (FRA:3S7) (OTCMKTS:SYAAF), provides a different model of how to approach building a graphite business.

Syrah’s strategy was to build fast, build quick at its Balama operation in Mozambique but it has encountered a number of troubles since bagging its first saleable flake in November 2017, experiencing a 50% drop in its share price decline since October 2017.

Syrah suffered equipment and planning approval setbacks earlier this year, and questions over the expected price it would receive for its product given gradings.

Black Rock, which produced its DFS in the shadow of Syrah’s experience, focused its efforts on producing a rigorous study.

De Vries said, “There’s a couple of elephants in the room.

“Elephant in the room number one is we’ve put a lot of effort into getting the DFS right, and the evidence says that no further graphite mines will be financed without a DFS.

“It’s a good question to be asking, ‘Will all people have to do a DFS?’

“In the graphite business, Syrah went off the PFS but took a fair bit of heartburn before they got that right.”

The other critical question or elephant in the room is how companies are going to pay the bills if they only target EV batteries and they take longer than expected to be adopted by EV battery manufacturers.

De Vries said, “There you go, two fairly simple questions but at the end of the day it strips the graphite sector bare.”

An October 2018 DFS

The company announced its first offtake agreement for Mahenge on October 22, 2018, two days before it published an executive summary of its DFS for the large graphite project.

Black Rock agreed to supply up to 90,000 tonnes a year of blended graphite concentrate to one of the largest expanded graphite processors, Heilongjiang Bohao Graphite Company Limited, for up to three years under the supply agreement.

READ: Black Rock Mining inks offtake agreement to supply large quantities of graphite concentrate to Heilongjiang Bohao Graphite

A second three-year offtake agreement, unveiled on October 29, 2018, commits Black Rock to supplying China-based consumer battery producer Qingdao Fujin Graphite Company Limited with 15,000 tonnes a year of premium flake graphite at a to-be-determined price.

The agreements, which do not include mine or plant-building funds, are a sign of confidence in the company and could grab about 44% of proposed 250,000 tonnes a year steady-state annual production from Mahenge.

De Vries says “The strategy is straightforward, the Heilongjiang Bohao contract is from a large user with multiple end markets that completely derisks our mine.

“The Qingdao Fujin contract targets EV batteries representing an additional market for our graphite.”

Market entry strategy critical

Black Rock’s published DFS figures model a 32-year life-of-mine with average steady-state production of 250,000 tonnes a year.

The expected production could return 6.6 million tonnes of total life-of-mine concentrate.

De Vries spoke to Proactive from Hong Kong, saying “We all get what’s going with the EV revolution.

“You can’t go to a graphite presentation without people showing you lovely pictures of plugged-in cars.

“The reality is none of us drive them just yet but we know it’s coming.

“So, if you’re going to be successful in this space, you need to start with a multi-tiered market-entry strategy and if you ultimately become an energy materials business just focusing on EV batteries then that’s great.

“But, it’s not the fundamental premise on which you build the mine.”

READ: Black Rock Mining signs second graphite offtake agreement

De Vries was in China with a company roadshow after a ‘pretty bloody successful’ Australian leg of the roadshow.

He told Proactive the company and its project was attracting interest from industry.

“A lot of people have expressed interest in offtake," De Vries said.

“The challenge we have at the moment, because we did the pilot plant in a manner that was about having graphite product for graphite customers, is that now we’re now in a situation where we’ve got almost too many customers.

“So, we’re talking to a few more customers in China and seeing how many more people are interested in our product, so we can start to write some hard-money contracts.

“As this becomes tighter, we’ll look at the rate at which we bring on additional capacity and have a look to see if we can add other modules to the crawl-walk-run strategy.”

Black Rock’s current offtake agreements do not include a component to help build the mine or its capacity but the company is continuing to talk to potential customers and work on producing such agreements.

About the project

Black Rock’s DFS calculations valued its Mahenge project at US$895 million using a net present value (NPV10) calculated at a 10% discount, after tax and after government free-carried Interest.

Mahenge’s corresponding internal rate of return was 42.8%.

Key metrics from the company’s October 2018 definitive feasibility study

The life-of-mine net direct cash costs (C1), free-on-board (FOB) at Dar es Salaam port is US$401 a tonne while the life-of-mine all-in sustaining costs FOR Dar are US$473 a tonne.

A concentrate basket FOB at Dar is priced at US$1,301 a tonne in the study.

The company has reported it has the “lowest cost to customer given access to rail and major East African port from rail”.

 

Black Rock highlighted it had the highest purity flake graphite achieved from conventional flotation circuit processing at the time it shared results from its study in October 2018.

The company had said the study demonstrated “major geological and geographical advantages” and low-cost-to-customer advantages.

Mine operations building has been broken down into three phases in the DFS.

Phase one would have a US$115 million capital expenditure (capex) based on a 10% contingency and enable production of 83,000 tonnes a year.

Phase two would cost US$69.5 million while phase three would cost US$84.2 million, both with a 15% contingency.

Like phase one, each phase would enable a further 83,000 tonnes a year to be produced at Mahenge.

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Tue, 18 Dec 2018 22:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211446/black-rock-mining-focuses-on-multiple-graphite-end-users-211446.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining executives dig deep to support Tanzanian graphite strategy ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209790/black-rock-mining-executives-dig-deep-to-support-tanzanian-graphite-strategy-209790.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) directors and management have shown their confidence in the company’s Tanzanian graphite strategy by participation in a placement.

The company has now received $500,000 from the executives as part of the oversubscribed $3 million placement completed by Black Rock in August 2018.

Approved by shareholders

Directors and management had subscribed for 15.625 million shares and this was approved by shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting on November 7, 2018.

Black Rock’s CEO John de Vries said: “The board and management continue to believe we have the best global development-stage graphite project and are certainly delighted to be able to invest alongside other shareholders.

“Our focus remains moving into construction quickly.

“The additional funds will be used to progress the final stages of our pre-construction activities for our 100%-owned Mahenge Graphite Project.”

READ: Black Rock Mining signs second graphite offtake agreement

Black Rock recently signed its second offtake agreement for natural flake graphite from the proposed mine.

This agreement is with China-based Qingdao Fujin Graphite Company Limited to supply 15,000 tonnes per year for up to three years at pricing to be determined.

It followed an earlier three-year agreement with Heilongjiang Bohao Graphite Company Limited to annually supply up to 90,000 tonnes of blended graphite concentrate.

READ: Black Rock Mining DFS values Tanzania graphite project at US$895 million

A definitive feasibility study for Mahenge has demonstrated geological and geographical advantages and low-cost-to-customer advantages.

Post-tax, unlevered net present value (NPV) of US$895 million was matched with a post-tax, unlevered internal rate of return (IRR) of 42.80%.

The DFS put average annual steady state production rate at 250,000 tonnes, while total life-of-mine concentrate production was 6.6 million tonnes.

One of world’s largest resources

Mahenge has one of the largest JORC-compliant flake graphite mineral resource estimates in the world, with 211.9 million tonnes grading 7.8% total graphitic carbon for 16.6 million tonnes of contained graphite.

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Fri, 23 Nov 2018 08:59:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209790/black-rock-mining-executives-dig-deep-to-support-tanzanian-graphite-strategy-209790.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining director and former chairman to retire today ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/208681/black-rock-mining-director-and-former-chairman-to-retire-today-208681.html Black Rock Mining Ltd’s (ASX:BKT) non-executive director and former chairman Stephen Copulos will retire from the company’s board after today’s annual general meeting.

He joined Black Rock as non-executive chairman in January 2015, as the company’s major shareholder and financial supporter.

This followed acquisition of the company’s Tanzanian graphite projects with a view to Black Rock becoming a significant Tanzanian resources company.

“Right team and strategy”

Copulos said “After three years of service to the company, I am confident that we have the right team and strategy with the expertise and skills to move the project forward.

“Black Rock is on its way to becoming a graphite producer, my work is done, and I have decided to step down from the board and remain the company’s largest shareholder.”

The company has significantly advanced its Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania towards development.

READ: Black Rock Mining DFS values Tanzania graphite project at US$895 million

A recently completed definitive feasibility study has de-risked the project to a level that the company can confidently seek project financing.

Mahenge has one of the largest JORC-compliant flake graphite mineral resource estimates globally, with an estimate of 211.9 million tonnes at 7.8% TGC for 16.6 million tonnes of contained graphite.

Importantly, more than 50% of the resource is in the measured and indicated categories.

READ: Black Rock Mining signs second graphite offtake agreement

Copulos has more than 38 years’ experience in a variety of businesses and investments across a range of industries including mining, manufacturing, property development, food and hospitality.

He has been managing director of the Copulos Group of companies, a private investment group, since 1997 and has extensive experience as a company director of listed and unlisted public companies in Australia, the UK, and USA.

“Strong guidance and support”

Chairman Richard Crookes said: “Stephen has contributed enormously to Black Rock over more than three years, not only has a major shareholder and with financial support, but also in providing strong guidance and support as its chairman and then director of the company.

“We thank him for his efforts during this time, helping to steer our company through such an important part of its journey to becoming a graphite producer.

“We wish him well in his future endeavours and look forward to his continued support.”

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Wed, 07 Nov 2018 11:27:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/208681/black-rock-mining-director-and-former-chairman-to-retire-today-208681.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining signs second graphite offtake agreement ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/207974/black-rock-mining-signs-second-graphite-offtake-agreement-207974.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has signed its second offtake agreement for natural flake graphite from its proposed Mahenge Graphite Mine in Tanzania.

The agreement is with China-based Qingdao Fujin Graphite Company Limited to supply 15,000 tonnes per year for up to three years at pricing to be determined.

Notably, Qingdao Fujin focuses heavily on the small to mid-size battery market and produces anode product for customers across Asia and China.

READ: Black Rock Mining DFS values Tanzania graphite project at US$895 million

Black Rock’s CEO John de Vries said: “The signing of this offtake agreement with a key producer of anode precursor in China, reflects strong demand for our premium quality graphite flake and demonstrates the ongoing success of our product marketing strategy.

“The agreement with an established user of natural flake graphite resulted from our strategy of operating a large 90-tonne pilot plant to support engineering design and provide credible volume for market participants identified through a thorough and detailed segmentation and channel strategy.

“We are of the view that this agreement continues to add momentum to our mine development and financing activities."

Offtake agreements are likely to support project financing

This offtake agreement complements the first agreement executed with Heilongjiang Bohao.

Combined, the two offtake agreements could represent about 44% of proposed steady-state annual production from Mahenge.

de Vries  added: “This agreement is significant as the offtake is intended to supply Qingdao Fujin’s needs across a range of batteries, for automotive applications, consumer electronics, and energy storage.

“Success in this market segment builds confidence in Mahenge’s ability to supply premium quality anode precursors to the emerging EV market.”

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Mon, 29 Oct 2018 10:38:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/207974/black-rock-mining-signs-second-graphite-offtake-agreement-207974.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Black Rock Mining's CEO discusses Mahenge Graphite Project DFS highlights ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/10961/black-rock-mining-s-ceo-discusses-mahenge-graphite-project-dfs-highlights-10961.html Wed, 24 Oct 2018 01:01:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/10961/black-rock-mining-s-ceo-discusses-mahenge-graphite-project-dfs-highlights-10961.html <![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining DFS values Tanzania graphite project at US$895 million ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/207710/black-rock-mining-dfs-values-tanzania-graphite-project-at-us895-million-207710.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has published its definitive feasibility study for its Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania after reporting a significant offtake agreement earlier this week.

The company said the study demonstrated “major geological and geographical advantages” and low-cost-to-customer advantages.

READ: Black Rock Mining inks offtake agreement to supply large quantities of graphite concentrate to Heilongjiang Bohao

The company’s post-tax, unlevered net present value (NPV) of US$895 million was matched with a post-tax, unlevered internal rate of return (IRR) of 42.80%.

The headline figures from Black Rock's definitive feasibility study

Black Rock's John de Vries told Proactive Investors the company had well and truly delivered a bankable feasibility study with its definitive feasibility study (DFS).

Mining engineer De Vries told the market this morning: “When setting out to deliver our definitive feasibility study our primary objective was to develop the study to point where it would support a bankability level of due diligence.

“With over 25,000 person hours using consultants and contractors with real graphite mine construction and operations experience, I am very confident we have differentiated ourselves, and delivered that on that outcome.”

READ: Black Rock Mining gets positive feedback for Mahenge graphite from potential customers

Black Rock leader De Vries told Proactive his objective was to build a mine and a team in Tanzania to run the project.

He highlighted the quality skill sets of the company’s board and the quality of the people it had in-country, including Tanzania corporate vice-president Raymond Hekima who has more than 13 years experience with government and corporate sectors.

De Vries reported: “This study is about building a mine. The attention to detail, the level of data support, the effort and the engagement with stakeholders, positions the company to move into financing and construction.

“We have invested in operational readiness to avoid a post-commissioning performance drop-off and to support our Tanzania-centric operating model.”

The project location in Tanzania

De Vries told Proactive some of the advantages of the project that stemmed from its geography or geographical location had come as a surprise.

Among these were the low cost of transportation.

The Tanzanian project site is only 70 kilometres by road from the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority rail network that runs direct to the country’s principal port at Dar es Salaam.

He reported today: “Geographically, we have established the lowest cost logistics solution, by proving the viability, and preference for rail haulage to the port of Dar es Salaam, the largest port in our region.”

The life-of-mine C1 costs free-on-board (FOB) at Dar were US$401 a tonne, while its life-of-mine all-in sustaining costs for Dar were US$473 a tonne and its concentrate basket FOB cost was US$1,301 a tonne.

The company said it had the “lowest cost to customer given access to rail and major East African port from rail.”

READ: Black Rock Mining swells confidence of graphite resources in Tanzania

Black Rock highlighted it had the highest purity flake graphite achieved from conventional flotation circuit processing.

De Vries flagged a number of Mahenge competitive advantages the DFS leveraged.

He reported: “From a geology perspective, we established capacity to deliver the world’s highest grade flotation concentrate of plus-99% letter of indemnity (LOI) Mahenge Ultra Purity-FP.

“Being able to produce the highest grade concentrate available without chemical or thermal refining effectively future-proofs the company as markets increasingly shift towards higher quality concentrates.”

Black Rock also reported the lowest peak capital for annual tonne of product.

READ: Black Rock Mining completes optimisation study

The company’s DFS put the average steady state production rate at 250,000 tonnes a year, while total life-of-mine concentrate production was 6.6 million tonnes.

Mahenge has one of the largest JORC-compliant flake graphite mineral resource estimates in the world, with 211.9 million tonnes grading 7.8% total graphitic carbon (TGC) for 16.6 million tonnes of contained graphite.

Black Rock reported a major offtake deal for the project earlier this week after conducting very large pilot plant operations for its DFS and trialling its concentrate with a large pool of potential customers.

The Australian-listed company inked a three-year deal to supply up to 90,000 tonnes a year of blended graphite concentrate to Heilongjiang Bohao Graphite Company Limited.

Black Rock’s deal fully books and exceeds the concentrate capacity of its first plant in its scaled-up production model.

The DFS figures and executive summary published today re-emphasised the deal effectively underwrote its construction costs.

De Vries said: “We are confident that our approach to market segmentation, and a focus on channel strategy based on credible volumes of real products, will yield results with product offtake.

“We anticipate improvements in our capital cost once Yantai Jinyuan complete a program of metallurgical test work, and have run a small pilot plant as part of their due diligence process, however this has not been factored into the study economics.”

The DFS’ capital expenditure (capex) for phase I production of 83,000 tonnes a year was US$115 million, which includes a 10% contingency.

Capex for phase II, an 83,000 tonnes a year production level, is US$69.5 million, with a 15% contingency.

Phase III capex, also for 83,000 tonnes, is US$84.2 million, also with a 15% contingency.

The Mahenge site layout

Next steps

Black Rock will continue to work with Yantai Jinyuan to reduce capex through Chinese procurement processes.

The company expects to hold additional offtake discussions as it seeks to further underwrite its production profile.

Black Rock staffers expect to lodge a mining licence application in-country over the coming weeks, backed by environmental approvals it secured in August 2018.

The company hopes to quickly finalise detailed engineering and begin construction by midway through calendar year 2019 and reach producer status in mid-2020.

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Tue, 23 Oct 2018 19:10:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/207710/black-rock-mining-dfs-values-tanzania-graphite-project-at-us895-million-207710.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining inks offtake agreement to supply large quantities of graphite concentrate to Heilongjiang Bohao ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/207511/black-rock-mining-inks-offtake-agreement-to-supply-large-quantities-of-graphite-concentrate-to-heilongjiang-bohao-207511.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has signed a major offtake agreement to supply up to 90,000 tonnes a year of blended graphite concentrate to Heilongjiang Bohao Graphite Company Limited.

The agreement is for up to 3 years and is the largest signed by any graphite developer by order of magnitude.

The Perth-based company is finalising its definitive feasibility study (DFS) this month after building a very large test plant in Canada for its DFS and trialling its concentrate with key potential future customers.

READ: Black Rock Mining signs strategic cooperation agreement with major Chinese METS company

The three-year agreement commits Black Rock to supplying 30,000 tonnes of blended graphite concentrate in year 1, 50,000 tonnes in Year 2, and up to 90,000 tonnes in Year 3.

Black Rock’s graphite source would be its flagship Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.

During testing, concentrate produced from Mahenge’s Ultra Purity-FP Flake Graphite had a minimum purity of 99.0% LOI (Loss-on-Ignition) and was well received by potential customers.

At the time, the purity was a milestone, with Black Rock chief executive officer John de Vries acknowledging the company was “the only graphite developer that can produce a 99%+ concentrate” and that was attracting potential offtake customers.

READ: Black Rock Mining raises $3 million in oversubscribed placement

Today, De Vries said: “The signing of this offtake agreement vindicates our pilot plant strategy that saw us producing around eight tonnes of graphite concentrate from a 90-tonne run, which enabled us to deliver meaningful volumes of product to 24 potential customers around the world.

“Ninety thousand per annum is the largest offtake agreement signed by any developer by an order of magnitude and substantially underwrites our steady state operations of 240,000 tonnes per annum.”

Black Rock reported agreement “underwrites” its proposed three-phase construction strategy, accounting  for about 37.5% of proposed steady state annual production of 240,000 tonnes a year.

Heilongjiang Bohao is a both a graphite miner in China’s Heilongjiang Province and one of republic’s largest suppliers of graphite.

Its graphite is used for a variety of industrial purposes, including batteries.

READ: Black Rock Mining gets positive feedback for Mahenge graphite from potential customers

De Vries reported today: Heilongjiang Bohao Graphite Company Limited is a great offtake partner being one of China’s largest fully integrated graphite producers.

Heilongjiang’s operation is working towards consuming up to 100,000 tonnes of flake graphite a year.

Black Rock’s CEO said: “The partnership between Black Rock and Heilongjiang Bohao will be key for both parties in the coming years.”

The pricing of concentrate under the agreement is to be inked within the next 12 months, with the price set on a quarterly basis once market prices for flake size and concentrate grades are taken into account.

Black Rock signalled today it was continuing to have “positive discussions with additional potential customers with respect to signing binding supply contracts for the balance of its annual production”.

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Sun, 21 Oct 2018 19:10:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/207511/black-rock-mining-inks-offtake-agreement-to-supply-large-quantities-of-graphite-concentrate-to-heilongjiang-bohao-207511.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining signs strategic cooperation agreement with major Chinese METS company ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/205597/black-rock-mining-signs-strategic-cooperation-agreement-with-major-chinese-mets-company-205597.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Yantai Jinyuan Mining Machinery Ltd to supply process plant machinery and related infrastructure to Black Rock’s Mahenge Graphite Mine in Tanzania.

Yantai, part of the larger Yantai Jinyuan Group, has also committed to source up to US$40 million in project finance from Chinese groups, including government import-export credit agency.

 

Black Rock chief executive officer John de Vries said securing Yantai as process plant construction partner was a major step in the delivery of Black Rock’s Mahenge mine.

He said: “Yantai enhances our diligent technical work program of the pre-feasibility study, pilot plant, and the definitive feasibility study with a proven engineering and delivery capability.

“Mahenge’s planned production rate of 3,000 tonnes per day fits well within Yantai’s experience.

“In addition to a best-in-class delivery capability, Yantai also establishes our financing pathway and opens a further channel to market for product placement through their reputation for delivering quality graphite projects.”

“Yantai’s endorsement of Black Rock’s quality product through this agreement provides an important new channel to market through our association with a proven capacity to deliver quality graphite to the Chinese offtake market.”

READ: Black Rock Mining raises $3 million in oversubscribed placement

Yantai is a vertically-integrated process equipment supplier that can supply a wide range of processing machinery and expertise as well as the delivery of full turn-key metallurgical projects.

The Shandong-based company operates its own metallurgical testing facility and has access to pilot plant facilities that support its unique graphite intellectual property.

Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contracts have been delivered in both China and Tajikistan and the delivery model aligns with Tanzania’s new mining code.

The BOT delivery model also provides for training and skills transfer to Mahenge’s Tanzanian operations team, who will assume management responsibility on completion of the performance test.

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Tue, 25 Sep 2018 00:18:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/205597/black-rock-mining-signs-strategic-cooperation-agreement-with-major-chinese-mets-company-205597.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Black Rock Mining’s Mahenge project boasts a 10-1 NPV to capital ratio ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/10317/black-rock-minings-mahenge-project-boasts-a-10-1-npv-to-capital-ratio-10317.html Tue, 04 Sep 2018 02:40:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/10317/black-rock-minings-mahenge-project-boasts-a-10-1-npv-to-capital-ratio-10317.html <![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining raises $3 million in oversubscribed placement ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/203446/black-rock-mining-raises-3-million-in-oversubscribed-placement-203446.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has raised $3 million before costs in an oversubscribed share placement to institutional and sophisticated investors.

The placement comprises over 78 million shares at 3.2 cents per share, which includes the subscription of Black Rock’s directors and management for 15.6 million shares worth $500,000.

Funds raised in the placement will go towards further project development, marketing of Black Rock’s graphite to offtake partners, permitting and mining licence applications as well as general working capital.

‘Well-funded to advance the project’

Black Rock chief executive officer John de Vries said the company was pleased to have received strong market support for the placement.

He said: “[The placement] validates our approach to diligently progressing the Mahenge project through a quality definitive feasibility study (DFS), to be followed by a permitting stage.

“With the placement funds and the existing balance sheet, Black Rock will be well-funded to advance the project through the permitting process.

“We anticipate the completion of the engineering and estimation stage of the DFS this quarter with the final reporting to extend into CY18 Q4.

“Our next objective will be to secure project development permits, and in particular the environmental permit followed by the mining licence.

“We will continue engagement with offtake partners to ensure a smooth transition from permitting to financing and ultimately project construction.”

READ: Black Rock Mining gets positive feedback for Mahenge graphite from potential customers

The placement will be made in one tranche and shares are expected to be allotted on 31 August 2018.

The director allotment is subject to shareholder approval, with a general meeting to be held soon.

Patersons Securities Ltd acted as the sole lead manager to the placement.

Black Rock’s 100%-owned Mahenge Graphite Project is one of the largest JORC-compliant flake graphite resources globally, with 211.9 million tonnes at 7.8% TGC (total graphitic carbon) for 16.6 million tonnes of contained graphite.

The company had released a pre-feasibility study for the project, which considered a three-stage construction to deliver up to 250,000 tonnes per annum of 98.5% graphite concentrate for 31 years.

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Thu, 23 Aug 2018 00:53:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/203446/black-rock-mining-raises-3-million-in-oversubscribed-placement-203446.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining gets positive feedback for Mahenge graphite from potential customers ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/200086/black-rock-mining-gets-positive-feedback-for-mahenge-graphite-from-potential-customers-200086.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has received positive feedback from potential customers for the graphite concentrate from its Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.

The company’s shares are trading about 8% higher intra-day following the update, at 3.9 cents.

Black Rock despatched large volume samples produced from its initial 90-tonne pilot plant test work in Canada to 22 potential customers.

Initial feedback has been positive, with Black Rock’s recently introduced Ultra Purity-FP™ Flake Graphite, with a minimum purity of 99.0% LOI (Loss-on-Ignition), well received by potential customers.

The company has received confirmation that the 1% or less total ash content offers the ability for specific applications to use this new high-purity flake graphite without the concern of any caustic chemical intervention to reach the 99% LOI purity target.

READ: Black Rock Mining raises $4.74 million to complete graphite project study

Black Rock chief executive officer John de Vries said: “We are very pleased with the positive feedback we have received on our graphite concentrate.

“We remain the only graphite developer that can produce a 99%+ concentrate and interestingly this is resulting in more approaches by new potential customers.

“The feedback confirms we have a unique graphite concentrate that will be sought after by a multitude of graphite users for a wide range of applications.”

One of the largest flake graphite resources globally

Black Rock’s 100%-owned Mahenge Graphite Project is one of the largest JORC-compliant flake graphite resources globally, with 211.9 million tonnes at 7.8% TGC (total graphitic carbon) for 16.6 million tonnes of contained graphite.

The company had released an exceptional pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the project, which considered a three-stage construction to deliver up to 250,000 tonnes per annum of 98.5% graphite concentrate for 31 years.

Black Rock is continuing to progress discussions with respect to construction and financing support, off take and agency agreements to advance the Mahenge Graphite Project.

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Wed, 04 Jul 2018 15:47:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/200086/black-rock-mining-gets-positive-feedback-for-mahenge-graphite-from-potential-customers-200086.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining raises $4.74 million to complete graphite project study ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/190274/black-rock-mining-raises-474-million-to-complete-graphite-project-study-190274.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) will use $4.74 million in placement funds to complete a definitive feasibility study for its Tanzanian graphite project.

The fund raising was completed this week with the placement of 9 million shares to directors and advisers at $0.06 per share for $540,000.

This adds to the $4.2 million raised in a heavily oversubscribed placement completed in November 2017.

The 70 million new fully paid ordinary shares were predominantly placed with new institutional and sophisticated investors.

Mahenge has 16.6 million tonnes of graphite

The Mahenge Graphite Project in the Mahenge region of Tanzania has a resource estimate of 211.9 million tonnes at 7.8% TGC for 16.6 million tonnes of contained graphite.

John de Vries, chief executive officer, said: “The completion of the placement is a significant step in our transition from a graphite explorer to developer and ultimately a global producer.

“The strong support validates our project that combines super low capital costs, high margins and scale.

“Being fully funded to complete the definitive feasibility study allows us to continue to de-risk the project, develop our markets and people and progress to a construction decision.”

Company appoints contractor for study

Black Rock recently appointed CPC Project Design as engineering contractor for the study.

The mid-tier, Perth-based engineering company with extensive graphite and Africa experience expects to start the study this month.

The scope of the study is for the first module of Ulanzi, Mahenge and the associated infrastructure.

Due for completion in second half of 2018

The study is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2018.

Full completion and delivery of the study is subject to and conditional upon Tanzania putting in place its new mining code and regulations.

An optimised preliminary feasibility study completed in August 2017 confirmed the project’s potential as a long-life, low capex, high margin operation.

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Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:50:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/190274/black-rock-mining-raises-474-million-to-complete-graphite-project-study-190274.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining appoints John de Vries as chief executive officer ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/182899/black-rock-mining-appoints-john-de-vries-as-chief-executive-officer-182899.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has appointed the experienced John de Vries as its full-time chief executive officer, effective immediately.

de Vries previously held the role on an interim basis, and has served as the company's chief operating officer.

de Vries commented on the appointment:

"Very rarely in your career do you get the opportunity to step in on the ground floor, and develop a world class project like the Mahenge Graphite project in Tanzania.

"Ultimately, Mahenge will play an import role in delivering benefits for our investors, our Tanzanian stakeholders and through the emerging battery thematic, a better planet."

Black Rock wholly-owns the Mahenge project, which is the is the fourth largest JORC compliant contained graphite resource in the World.

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Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:22:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/182899/black-rock-mining-appoints-john-de-vries-as-chief-executive-officer-182899.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining completes optimisation study ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/182096/black-rock-mining-completes-optimisation-study-182096.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has completed an optimisation study on its pre-feasibility study for its 100%-owned Mahenge Graphite Project located in Tanzania.

The optimisation study adds a third staged module to take production to 250,000 tonnes per annum of 98.5% graphite concentrate for 31 years.

The second and third modules are expected to be funded from cash flow, enabling the company to deliver the entire operation for peak capital of only US$90.1mln.

This equates to industry leading peak capital of only US$360 per tonne per annum.

This positive result is driven by relative high grade, low strip ratios and industry leading product quality and attributes.

John de Vries, interim CEO, commented

“The optimisation study successfully builds out our crawl, walk, run strategy, ultimately delivering a world-class mine based on any metrics.

At a maximum run rate of 250,000 tonnes per annum, of the highest purity graphite concentrate on the market, with exceptionally low opex, and capex, this study places us in a strong competitive strategic position.

“As the market progressively starts to benefit from increased demand driven by the transition from petrol to electric vehicles, and demand for fire proofed panels for high rise buildings grows, demand for Mahenge’s premium product will grow.

“We continue to be highly confident we have the most compelling development stage graphite project globally and intend to quickly move into our definitive feasibility study phase to ensure construction risks are minimised.”

Still a US$905 million project

Revised financial metrics that incorporate a 16% government free carry and increased royalty rate still result in a post-tax unlevered project net present value (NPV) of US$905mln.

Importantly, this is using a realistic basket price assumption of US$1,241 per tonne delivering an operating margin of US$863 per tonne.

The financing process remains on track and is supported by two existing memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with end users of graphite concentrate.

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Tue, 08 Aug 2017 13:40:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/182096/black-rock-mining-completes-optimisation-study-182096.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining swells confidence of graphite resources in Tanzania ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/181177/black-rock-mining-swells-confidence-of-graphite-resources-in-tanzania-181177.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has turned a successful infill drill program into an increased resource at its Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.

Key highlights include:

- Resource increased by 14% to 60.2 million tonnes at 8.1% Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC) utilising an additional 19 infill drill holes completed in late 2016;

- Cascades Measured and Indicated Resources increased by 25% to 32.9 million tonnes at 8.3% TGC with a high-grade portion of 14.6 million tonnes at 12.2% TGC; and

- The total Mahenge Graphite Project resource increased to 211.9 million tonnes at 7.8% TGC, with a high-grade portion of 46.6 million tonnes at 10.6% TGC.

The resource upgrade is expected to enhance the PFS optimisation study currently being completed, expected for release late July.

In addition to the high-grade zone, Cascades is expected to deliver an increase in free dig depth and a higher proportion of coarse flake in concentrates compared to Ulanzi.

John de Vries, interim CEO, commented:

"Whilst the 14% increase of Cascades Mineral Resource is pleasing, we are most excited by the 25% increase of proportion of Measured and Indicated Resources.

"We believe this will directly assist in delivering industry leading low operating cash costs for a project that has already demonstrated its ability to deliver high purity product from conventional flotation circuit process.

"We believe that we have the best graphite resource of any development stage project and look forward to incorporating this development into the soon to be released optimised PFS, that considers a third milling module."

Analysis

Mahenge sits on a global scale, being the fourth largest JORC-compliant graphite resource in the world.

This offers significant flexibility for potential development into a multi-generation mining operation.

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Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:00:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/181177/black-rock-mining-swells-confidence-of-graphite-resources-in-tanzania-181177.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining Ltd provides update from Tanzania ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/180729/black-rock-mining-ltd-provides-update-from-tanzania-180729.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) will resume trading today following the company providing an update from Tanzania, with respect to the recent changes governing the natural resource sector in the country.

The company said it has completed an initial assessment of the potential impact on the Mahenge Graphite Project Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS), released on 24 April 2017, of the proposed legislative changes.

This assessment is restricted to consideration of the impact of a 16% Free Carried interest by the Tanzanian Government on the project and an increase in Royalty contribution, rising to 4.3%.

This is made up of 3% royalty, 1% inspection fee and 0.3% social contribution.

The company is progressing with an Optimisation Study of the April PFS.

This Optimisation Study considers the impact of additional drilling at Cascades, and continued expansion through a third module (Crawl, Walk, Run strategy).

It is expected this work will be completed by late July to early August.

Black Rock has completed a non-exhaustive assessment of key aspects of potential financing and operational impacts of the proposed legislation, based on the legislation and accompanying information currently available and understood.

The company added that this assessment is subject to further interpretation through the consultation phase and when regulations become available.

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Wed, 12 Jul 2017 12:30:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/180729/black-rock-mining-ltd-provides-update-from-tanzania-180729.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining Ltd granted time to review proposed changes by the Tanzanian Government ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/180333/black-rock-mining-ltd-granted-time-to-review-proposed-changes-by-the-tanzanian-government-180333.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has been granted a voluntary suspension this morning, following a trading halt.

Black Rock requested the additional time pending an announcement regarding the draft changes to mining legislation proposed by the Tanzanian Government.

The company said the proposed changes and impact on the company’s Mahenge Graphite project are ongoing and yet to be fully ascertained.

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Wed, 05 Jul 2017 09:30:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/180333/black-rock-mining-ltd-granted-time-to-review-proposed-changes-by-the-tanzanian-government-180333.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining Ltd's shares in pre-open ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/180186/black-rock-mining-ltd-s-shares-in-pre-open-180186.html Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) is another Australian explorer in Tanzania which has been granted a trading halt by the ASX today.

The companies are awaiting draft changes to mining legislation proposed by the Tanzanian Government.

The halt will remain in place until the opening of trade on Wednesday 5th July 2017, or earlier if an announcement is made to the market.

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Mon, 03 Jul 2017 15:00:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/180186/black-rock-mining-ltd-s-shares-in-pre-open-180186.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining chairman buys more shares on-market ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/179713/black-rock-mining-chairman-buys-more-shares-on-market-179713.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) chairman, Stephen Copulos, has continued to build his stake in the company through on-market purchases.

Copulos has picked up another 1.95 million shares for a consideration of $139,461.85.

This builds on the 2,000,000 shares Copulos purchased on-market during May.

Copulos is the company's major shareholder and financial supporter, and has a total direct and indirect interest of circa 25.7%.

Black Rock is developing its flagship asset, the Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.

In April 2017, a preliminary feasibility study (PFS) confirmed Mahenge’s potential as a long-life, low capex, high margin operation.

The PFS estimated a post-tax, unlevered, internal rate of return (IRR) for the Project of 48.7% and a net present value (NPV) using a discount rate of 10% of US$624 million.

Black Rock is moving towards commencing a definitive feasibility study (DFS).

With a successful DFS and associated financing, construction could commence in 2018 with first production in 2019.

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Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:00:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/179713/black-rock-mining-chairman-buys-more-shares-on-market-179713.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining boosts spherical graphite yields significantly ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/178876/black-rock-mining-boosts-spherical-graphite-yields-significantly-178876.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has achieved significantly higher yields when attempting to  produce high-end spherical graphite using 99% TGC concentrate from its Mahenge Project in Tanzania.

Trials achieved up to 60% yields, this is significantly higher than the 30-40% yields currently obtained by spherical producers.

The successful trials are supportive of Black Rock’s strategy of developing a staged low capex mine producing a premium product.

Mahenge spherical graphite returned excellent metrics that exceed lithium-ion battery manufacturer specifications.

John de Vries, interim CEO, commented: “We are delighted that our focus on executing a simple and easy to understand model of a straight forward concentrate business continues to move forward.

“This work validates Mahenge’s product, and reinforces the project’s compelling investment potential.”


Test program summary

The Dorfner Anzaplan test program has delivered exceptional results from Mahenge 99% TGC graphite concentrate, significantly improving upon the 2016 program.

Spherical graphite was made with high yields of up to 60%, a significant improvement on the 30-40% yields currently obtained by the industry.

An adaptation to the current spheronising process has potential to significantly improve yields yet again and this is planned to be trialled.

Importantly the shape, specific surface area and tap densities of the spherical graphite exceed battery maker specifications.

Chemical purification trials exceeded the 99.95% TGC purity levels demanded by battery producers and demonstrated significant reductions in chemical consumption and processing time.

This is attributable to the high initial purity of the precursor Mahenge flake.


Next steps

Next steps are to distribute bulk quantities of Mahenge concentrates for spheronising testing in commercial plants and provide spherical graphite to end users and provide potential partners with cost and performance data.


Analysis

The test program validates a critical portion of the process to place Mahenge graphite into the fast growing battery market.

Spherical graphite can be produced, exceeding the strict standards of anode producers and battery manufacturers.

Spherical graphite producers can potentially consistently produce a superior product at higher yields and lower purification costs by using Mahenge graphite.

Black Rock has progressively validated all key aspects of its Mahenge Project including:

- One of the world’s largest graphite resources that simply processes into high purity concentrates;
- A compelling pre-feasibility study with low capex and high margins compared to Tanzanian peers;
- Validation of Mahenge graphite suitability for refractory, expandable and battery use; and
- Validation that Mahenge graphite can make superior battery anodes with higher yields and performance than peers.

These attributes have led to ongoing discussions with end users and potential partners in key markets for product valuation purposes.

Black Rock has also received exceptional feedback from end users regarding the recent 130-cycle battery cell results confirming its graphite has the potential to enable battery manufacturers to produce more stable lithium-ion batteries, at a lower cost with a longer cycle life.

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Wed, 07 Jun 2017 13:00:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/178876/black-rock-mining-boosts-spherical-graphite-yields-significantly-178876.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining partners with Chinese graphite company ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/178609/black-rock-mining-partners-with-chinese-graphite-company-178609.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has signed a partnering memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese spherical graphite manufacturing and marketing company, Yingkou Botian Material Technology Limited Company.

The MoU establishes the framework for the organisations to evaluate the commercial viability of a long-term commercial arrangement.

Botian has significant experience with spherical graphite and has expressed interest in purchasing 50,000 tonnes per annum of graphite concentrates from Black Rock’s flagship Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.

Botian currently purchases 25,000 tonnes per annum for its spherical operations alone, an amount that is expected to significantly increase over the next three years.

John de Vries, interim CEO, commented: “We are pleased to be working with Botian, as a strong partner who are highly interested in our high quality graphite from the Mahenge Graphite Project.

“We look forward to progressing the relationship towards a commercial arrangement.

“Black Rock continues to build traction in the industry, with the MoU marking the second partnership after Meiwa Corporation of Japan, another active participation in spherical graphite production.”


Mahenge Graphite Project

In April 2017, a preliminary feasibility study (PFS) confirmed Mahenge’s potential as a long-life, low capex, high margin operation.

The PFS estimated a post-tax, unlevered, internal rate of return (IRR) for the Project of 48.7% and a net present value (NPV) using a discount rate of 10% of US$624 million.

Black Rock is moving towards commencing a definitive feasibility study (DFS).

With a successful DFS and associated financing, construction could commence in 2018 with first production in 2019.

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Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:30:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/178609/black-rock-mining-partners-with-chinese-graphite-company-178609.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining delivers industry-leading results ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/178296/black-rock-mining-delivers-industry-leading-results-178296.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has delivered industry-leading results from battery test works using graphite concentrate from its Mahenge Graphite Project located in Tanzania.

Test results confirm Mahenge’s graphite has the potential to enable battery manufacturers to produce more stable lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) at a lower cost with a longer cycle life.

Over a 130-cycle charge/discharge program, Black Rock’s test cells demonstrated consistently higher charge capacity and flatter performance curves than a leading coated spherical graphite used as a comparison.

Furthermore, there is potential for Mahenge graphite to displace synthetic graphite in LIBs if performance and cost advantages can be demonstrated.

The industry leading battery test results are expected to drive ongoing discussions with potential partners.

Pilot scale ore test work is underway in Canada to provide bulk quantities of high grade concentrates for vendor evaluation.

News in the short term is also expected regarding the recently completed spheronising test program for 99% TGC concentrates, which produced excellent results.

John de Vries, interim CEO, commented: “The 130-cycle results continue to demonstrate the industry leading product attributes of Black Rock´s Mahenge Graphite Project.

“The results show that our graphite could deliver battery manufacturers with more stable lithium-ion batteries at a lower cost as well as a superior cycle life.

“Superior cell performance is critical to enabling our ongoing discussions with potential partners.

“Next steps are to provide bulk quantities of Mahenge graphite concentrates for end-user evaluation together with detailed spherical test work results from our recently completed program in Europe.”

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Thu, 25 May 2017 11:00:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/178296/black-rock-mining-delivers-industry-leading-results-178296.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining receives high purity metallurgy results ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/178226/black-rock-mining-receives-high-purity-metallurgy-results-178226.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has received initial metallurgical test work results from a flowsheet optimisation program being undertaken for its Mahenge Graphite Project located in Tanzania.

The company returned excellent results achieving purity of 99.6% together with a significant increase in very coarse flake for primary ore from the Ulanzi deposit.

The Canadian metallurgical development program is designed to optimise and finalise the Mahenge flowsheet to a definitive feasibility study level.

John de Vries, interim CEO, commented: “The initial pilot plant test results confirm we have an exceptional ore that can be easily beneficiated into a high purity concentrate.

“We were delighted to see we also have super jumbo flakes in our flake size distribution. We expected this, given earlier test work ground our flakes to a size where it was impossible to achieve the super jumbo sizing.”

Black Rock is developing its 100% owned Mahenge Graphite Mine located in Tanzania, which has an estimated net present value (NPV) of US$624 million.

Mahenge is an industry-leading low capex, low cost multi-generational high grade graphite mine.


Metallurgy result summary

In summary, the initial Canadian test results achieved the highest ever purities of 99.6% carbon for Ulanzi primary ore and increased yields of very coarse flake.

High graphite purities are remarkably consistent across the size fractions and the proportion of fine graphite has been reduced.

Replication of high purity concentrate recoveries from first tests at a new lab is significant as it independently validates the robust processing characteristics of Mahenge ore and provides scope for further optimisation improvements.

Results from a conventional flotation circuit, with process optimisation work expected to deliver additional improvements.

Further results will be released as the program advances over the next three months.


Board buying shares on-market

Recently, multiple members of Black Rock’s board have been purchasing stock in the company through on-market trades.

Stephen Copulos purchased 1 million shares for $74,407 increasing his holding to 91.8 million shares.

John de Vries purchased 150,000 shares for $10,500 increasing his holding to 650,000 shares.

Finally, Gabriel Chiappini also purchased 200,000 shares for $14,000 increasing his holding to 5.1 million shares.

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Wed, 24 May 2017 11:00:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/178226/black-rock-mining-receives-high-purity-metallurgy-results-178226.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining board goes on share buying spree ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/177887/black-rock-mining-board-goes-on-share-buying-spree-177887.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has had three members of its board purchase shares in the company by way of on-market trades dated last Friday 12 May 2017.

Stephen Copulos purchased 1 million shares for $74,407 increasing his holding to 91.8 million shares.

John de Vries purchased 150,000 shares for $10,500 increasing his holding to 650,000 shares.

Finally, Gabriel Chiappini also purchased 200,000 shares for $14,000 increasing his holding to 5.1 million shares.

Black Rock is developing its 100% owned Mahenge Graphite Mine located in Tanzania, which has an estimated net present value (NPV) of US$624 million.

Mahenge is an industry-leading low capex, low cost multi-generational high grade graphite mine.

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Wed, 17 May 2017 12:30:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/177887/black-rock-mining-board-goes-on-share-buying-spree-177887.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining's chairman buys another 1 million shares on-market ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/177696/black-rock-mining-s-chairman-buys-another-1-million-shares-on-market-177696.html Black Rock Mining's (BKT:ASX) non-executive chairman, Stephen Copulos, has snapped up another 1 million shares on-market for a consideration of $80,400.

Copulos is the company's major shareholder and financial supporter, and has a total direct and indirect interest of circa 91 million shares.

Black Rock is focused on the Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania, which currently hosts a JORC Resource of 203 million tonnes at 7.8% Total Graphitic Carbon.

The company´s PFS released in April 2017 estimates capex at US$90.1 million for phase one production of 83,000 tonnes per annum.

Phase two is self-funded and adds a further 83,000 tonnes per annum taking total production to 167,000 tonnes per annum.

Foster Stockbroking is a big supporter of Black Rock, and has a Speculative Buy recommendation on the stock based on the company’s low relative valuation against peers and value of the project.

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Fri, 12 May 2017 14:00:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/177696/black-rock-mining-s-chairman-buys-another-1-million-shares-on-market-177696.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining receives Speculative Buy ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/177017/black-rock-mining-receives-speculative-buy-177017.html Black Rock Mining (BKT:ASX) has received a Speculative Buy from Foster Stockbroking.

The following is an extract from the report.


Event:

- Black Rock Mining Limited (BKT) release of PFS for its Mahenge graphite project; management change.


Analysis:

- Quality asset: Total JORC Resource of 203Mt at Mahenge contains nearly 16Mt of graphite at an average grade of 7.8% TGC (total graphite contained), and includes a high grade proportion of 38Mt at 9.9% TGC. JORC Ore Reserve of 48.3Mt at 8.7% TGC. Initial 32 year LOM is less than half of the contained graphite.

- Excellent large flake distribution, coupled with high purity product: nearly 68% of flakes in the resource are large size and above, with leading concentrate grades of 98% to 99%.

- Compelling project metrics: Mahenge is a high margin project. BKT has the peer leading absolute percentage of large and jumbo flake sizes, along with sector leading concentrate grades of 98% to 99%, both of which should attract pricing premium in a tight market. On the opex side, bottom quartile LOM cash costs to port are US$382/t, a function of low LOM strip ratio of 0.8:1, and high grade.

- Robust capex focus: Lowest pre-production capex of 100ktpa+ production development projects. US$90M delivers phase one production of 83.3ktpa, planned for 2019. Phase two is self-funded from cash flow to add another 83.3ktpa from 2021, for a combined 167ktpa. The project strikes the balance between the scale to attract investment against ability to fund the project.

- NPV10 of US$624M (post tax) based on realistic basket pricing of US$1,241/t (NPV10 jumps to US$1.1B using basket price of highest peer). Post tax unlevered IRR is 48.7%. Compares very favourably against peers, especially considering its low pre-production capex profile.

- There have been management changes to set the company up for development and production. John de Vries has recently joined as COO and has now been made interim CEO and appointed as an Executive Director, and brings deep experience in mine building and operational excellence, across a number of commodities and continents.

- Recently signed a MOU with Japanese conglomerate Meiwa Corporation, graphite product user, and not merely a graphite trading house, which participates in the global lithium-ion battery market.


Recommendation:

- We have a Speculative Buy recommendation for BKT, based on the company’s low relative valuation against peers and value of the project.

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Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:30:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/177017/black-rock-mining-receives-speculative-buy-177017.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining study confirms graphite mine value ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/176757/black-rock-mining-study-confirms-graphite-mine-value-176757.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has confirmed with results from its pre-feasibility study, the high margin, low capex potential of its 100% owned Mahenge Graphite Mine located in Tanzania.

The study is based on mining and milling 61.1 million tonnes at an average grade of 8.9% total graphitic carbon (TGC) for a life of mine production of 5.1 million tonnes of concentrate.

The operation has a net present value (NPV) of US$624 million and internal rate of return (IRR) of 48.2%.

John de Vrie, interim CEO, commented: “The pre-feasibility study builds on a compelling scoping study and reconfirms the Mahenge Graphite Project’s potential to be a globally significant graphite producer, with industry leading low capex, and sustained high margins.

“The mine metrics are driven by low strip ratios and high grade ore that can be relatively simply converted into large high purity, premium flake concentrates.”


PFS results

A summary of the pre-feasibility study (PFS) results includes:

- Post-tax unlevered project NPV of US$624 million;
- Post-tax unlevered IRR of 48.2%;
- EBITDA in first full year of production US$135 million at 66% margin;
- 32-year life of mine with average grade of 8.9% TGC;
- Ore Reserve declared of 48.3 million tonnes grading 8.7%;
- Pre-production capex estimated at US$90.1 million including a 15% contingency; and
- Total capex estimated at US$159 million including 15% contingency.

Black Rock is now moving towards commencing a definitive feasibility study (DFS).

With a successful DFS and associated financing, construction could commence in 2018 with first production in 2019.


Mahenge

Black Rock owns graphite tenure in the Mahenge region, Tanzania, a country that hosts world‐class graphite mineralisation.

The Mahenge project resource is comprised of three deposits – Ulanzi, Epanko and Cascade and is one of the largest JORC graphite resources globally.

The total resource stands at 203 million tonnes at 7.8% TGC for 15.9 million tonnes of contained graphite.

Discussions are now underway with potential partners for financing, offtake, product development and sales and marketing.

The commencement of construction remains on track for 2018 with initial production in 2019.


Analysis

The PFS results confirm Black Rock now owns 100% of a project valued at many multiples of its current market cap.

Black Rock shares are currently trading at A$0.11 giving it a market cap of A$40 million, which represents a fraction of the PFS valuation of US$624 million (~A$825 million).

This project value will continue to be de-risked by a planned DFS and possible optimisations to the PFS.

The potential future Mahenge mine offers a unique combination of low pre-preproduction capex, sustained bottom quartile operating costs and a premium high purity large flake product.

These qualities are hard to come by all in a single project and will support Black Rock significantly when securing project financing.

The company is now completing negotiations with DFS, and construction partners, and expects to commence work quickly on optimising the PFS and commencing detailed engineering with a view to commencing construction in 2018.

As Black Rock continues to advance through the process from explorer to developer, it will continue to unlock more of the project’s value.

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Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/176757/black-rock-mining-study-confirms-graphite-mine-value-176757.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining appoints John de Vries as interim CEO ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/176750/black-rock-mining-appoints-john-de-vries-as-interim-ceo-176750.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has appointed John de Vries as its interim chief executive officer, as the company commences a search for a permanent candidate for the position.

Current CEO, Steven Tambanis, has agreed to step down and will support the organisation through a transitional period.

Stephen Copulos, chairman, commented:

"We would all like to personally thank Steve Tambanis for his drive and energy to establish Black Rock Mining as the pre-eminent global graphite development opportunity."

Black Rock remains focused on the world-class Mahenge Graphite Project, and are now in the transition to developer and ultimately producer of graphite concentrate.

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Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:30:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/176750/black-rock-mining-appoints-john-de-vries-as-interim-ceo-176750.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining signs with Japanese battery player ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/176487/black-rock-mining-signs-with-japanese-battery-player-176487.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has signed a partnering memorandum of understanding with global lithium-ion battery market participant, Meiwa Corporation  (TYO:8103) of Japan.

The MOU establishes a framework for the organisations to determine the most amenable products to ensure commercial viability of Black Rock’s Mahenge Graphite Project and the basis of a long-term commercial relationship.

Meiwa Corporation participates as a joint venture partner in a spherical graphite production facility in Shandong Province, China.

Steve Tambanis, managing director, commented: “The company looks forward to working with Meiwa Corporation, a highly experienced and globally recognised participant in the lithium ion battery supply chain.

“The MOU with a Meiwa corporation is a significant step in our strategy to produce high purity graphite for the emerging global lithium-ion battery market and reinforces the quality of the company’s flagship Mahenge Graphite Project.”


Background

Black Rock owns graphite tenure in the Mahenge region, Tanzania, a country that hosts world‐class graphite mineralisation.

The Mahenge project resource is comprised of three deposits – Ulanzi, Epanko and Cascade and is one of the largest JORC graphite resources globally.

During December 2016, the company reported a substantial increase in its Cascades resource estimate to 53 million tonnes at 8.3% total graphitic content (TGC) including a high grade portion of 14 million tonnes at 12.1% TGC.

This increased its total resource to 203 million tonnes at 7.8% TGC.

This high grade portion is expected to have low strip ratios and similar metallurgical characteristics as Ulanzi, which should deliver a high purity concentrates from simple flotation circuit processing.

It is expected to deliver the Mahenge graphite project industry leading low capital and operating costs.

Coupled with this development, the company has also decided to plan for a much larger mine to be delivered in stages.


Key Terms of the MOU

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishes a framework for the organisations to work together to:

- Determine appropriate development routes, sales and marketing strategies;
- Evaluate the commercial viability of a long-term business relationship including the appropriate products to produce, market opportunities and other items relevant to the construction and operation of the Mahenge Graphite Mine; and
- Discuss a variety of pricing options that would provide for the sale of products by Black Rock to
Meiwa Corporation, including a sales and marketing agreement, a supply agreement or an option agreement once the project has proven its feasibility.


Meiwa Corporation

Meiwa Corporation of Japan is a listed Japanese trading house that was established in 1947.

It is involved in numerous businesses, including chemicals, plastics, construction materials, fuel, machinery and metals.

In 2010 Meiwa Corporation became a joint venture partner in a spherical graphite production facility in Shandong Province, China.


Analysis

This MOU builds on test work that has been conducted on Mahenge’s graphite, which to date has delivered industry leading results.

Test results suggest Mahenge’s graphite has the potential to enable battery manufacturers to produce more stable lithium-ion batteries at a lower cost with a longer cycle life.

Therefore the potential to displace synthetic graphite in lithium-ion batteries once performance, cost advantages and the ability to consistently supply spherical graphite for long term production can be demonstrated.

Recently Black Rock’s chairman, Stephen Copulos, increased his stake to 24.63% from 22.76% in the company.

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Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/176487/black-rock-mining-signs-with-japanese-battery-player-176487.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining's chairman further increases stake ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/175960/black-rock-mining-s-chairman-further-increases-stake-175960.html Black Rock Mining's (ASX:BKT) chairman, Stephen Copulos, is the company’s major shareholder and financial supporter.

Copulos has increased his stake to 24.63% from 22.76%, through a series of investments including option conversion and participation in a placement.

The company's Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania has a JORC Resource of 203 million tonnes at 7.8% total graphitic carbon.

Optimisation work underway is expected to result in a larger initial production target that optimises the trade-off between low capex, operating expenses and scale.

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Wed, 05 Apr 2017 09:30:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/175960/black-rock-mining-s-chairman-further-increases-stake-175960.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining receives investment from own directors ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/175726/black-rock-mining-receives-investment-from-own-directors-175726.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has received a vote of confidence from its board members who have recently decided to exercise options in the company.

The company’s focus remains on developing its flagship Mahenge graphite project located in Tanzania.

The option exercise will see 26.9 million shares issued which will raise $1.3 million.

Board members that exercised options included managing director Steven Tambanis and fellow board members Stephen Copulos and Gabriel Chiappini.

Black Rock is currently completing some final optimisation work on its Mahenge pre-feasibility study.

This optimisation work is expected to result in a larger initial production target that optimises the trade-off between low capex, operating expenses and scale.

This larger initial production target is expected to continue to preserve industry leading pre-production capex which remains the focus of the company.

Results from the pre-feasibility study are expected shortly.

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Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:30:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/175726/black-rock-mining-receives-investment-from-own-directors-175726.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining makes key appointment for Mahenge Graphite Mine ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/174946/black-rock-mining-makes-key-appointment-for-mahenge-graphite-mine-174946.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has appointed respected industry veteran, John de Vries, as chief operating officer.

de Vries brings experience from companies including St Barbara and BHP Billiton NiWest.

His primary responsibility is to deliver a construction ready Mahenge Graphite Mine post completion of the company´s Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS).

The Mahenge Graphite Mine PFS optimisation work is expected to deliver a larger initial mine whilst maintaining industry leading pre-production capex.

Steve Tambanis, managing director, commented:

"We are delighted to have secured someone of John´s calibre and it talks to the strength of the Mahenge Graphite Mine that he has chosen this role.

"John's appointment is a critical step in Black Rock Mining's transition from explorer to mine developer and graphite producer.

"Once the PFS is completed, his primary function will be to commence working with our preferred construction partners to push the mine towards the commencement of construction as quickly as sensibly practicable."

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Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/174946/black-rock-mining-makes-key-appointment-for-mahenge-graphite-mine-174946.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining delivers industry leading battery test results ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/172744/black-rock-mining-delivers-industry-leading-battery-test-results-172744.html Black Rock Mining's (ASX:BKT) battery test works continue to deliver industry leading results.

Ongoing U.S. accredited laboratory test work of the company's Mahenge Graphite Project 99.95+wt% graphite concentrate continues to deliver industry leading battery test results.

Steve Tambanis, managing director, commented:

"These results continue to demonstrate the industry leading product attributes of Black Rock´s Mahenge Graphite Project.

"The results demonstrate our graphite could deliver battery manufacturers with more stable lithium-ion batteries at a lower cost as well as a superior cycle life.

"They are also very important in enabling our ongoing discussions with potential partners that are critical for the success of the project."


Key test outcomes

- Uncoated graphite flakes producing a near perfect lithium-ion battery reversible capacity of 371.28 mAh/g out of a theoretically possible 372 mAh/g for natural graphite flakes;

- Uncoated and coated spherical graphite in battery cells designed for long-term cycling demonstrated excellent performance characteristics with reversible capacities of 368.94 Ah/g and 354.26 mAh/g respectively;

- Uncoated and coated spherical graphite delivered exceptionally low BET (Brunauer, Emmett and Teller) surface area values of 4.15 m2/g and 0.82 m2/g respectively, considered very suitable for high energy lithium-ion batteries;

- Uncoated and coated irreversible capacity loss (ICL) values of 8.35% and 5.61% respectively which are regarded as exceptional for natural flake graphite, having the potential to lower cell cost and increase cell cycle life; and

- Long term cycling of uncoated and coated graphite showing virtually no change in battery performance with 25 cycles completed to date of a 100+ cycle period.


Analysis

The test results suggest Mahenge Graphite Project graphite has the potential to enable battery manufacturers to produce more stable lithium-ion batteries at a lower cost with a longer cycle life.

Therefore the potential to displace synthetic graphite in lithium-ion batteries once performance, cost advantages and the ability to consistently supply spherical graphite for long term production can be demonstrated.

Continued results like todays will drive ongoing discussions with potential partners.

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Tue, 07 Feb 2017 13:30:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/172744/black-rock-mining-delivers-industry-leading-battery-test-results-172744.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining to deliver a low capex, high margin graphite mine ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/172596/black-rock-mining-to-deliver-a-low-capex-high-margin-graphite-mine-172596.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) is expecting to release the results of an updated pre-feasibility study this quarter on its flagship Mahenge graphite project located in Tanzania.

The upgraded study will build on the March 2016 results to incorporate the recently delineated high grade portion of the Cascades deposit within the Mahenge project.

The company plans to minimise capital expenditure through an initial production rate of 60,000 tonnes per annum graphite concentrates from first stage and then expanding to120,000 tonnes per annum.

A third stage expansion of an additional 100,000 tonnes per annum is also being evaluated at scoping study level.

The company’s focus remains on ensuring it has industry leading low pre-production capex for a scalable operation that can deliver high quality products.


Background

Black Rock owns graphite tenure in the Mahenge region, Tanzania, a country that hosts world‐class graphite mineralisation.

The Mahenge project resource is comprised of three deposits – Ulanzi, Epanko and Cascade and is one of the largest JORC graphite resources globally.

On 12 December 2016, the company reported a substantial increase in its Cascades resource estimate to 53 million tonnes at 8.3% total graphitic content (TGC) including a high grade portion of 14 million tonnes at 12.1% TGC.

This increased its total resource to 203 million tonnes at 7.8% TGC.

This high grade portion is expected to have low strip ratios and similar metallurgical characteristics as Ulanzi, which should deliver a high purity concentrates from simple flotation circuit processing.

It is expected to deliver the Mahenge graphite project industry leading low capital and operating costs.

Coupled with this development, the company has also decided to plan for a much larger mine to be delivered in stages.


Backed by leadership

Black Rock is committed to building a capable team of professionals to design, construct and operate the graphite mine and spheronising plant.

The senior management team is to consist of seven professionals with three positions now filled and ongoing discussions to fill the remaining roles with the right mix of experience and passion.

The majority of positions are to be filled in the current March quarter.

Black Rock is preparing for a rapid transition from updated pre-feasibility study into detailed engineering phase and mine construction planning at Mahenge.


Shares on the move in 2017

Black Rock shares are trading up 25% year to date, currently priced at $0.15.

With test-work showing concentrate grades of 99+% are able to be produced via simple flotation circuit and combined with a shallow, high grade resource, operating costs are forecast to be industry leading.

Furthermore, spherical graphite has been produced and battery cell testing is returning positive results, providing opportunities to target the growing high-value battery market.

The updated pre-feasibility study due this quarter is expected to deliver similar pre-production capex and cash costs for an initial 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes per annum operation growing over three phases to over 200,000 tonnes per annum.

The March 2016 already has shown Mahenge to have industry-leading pre-production capex, absolute flake size and concentrate grade.

Black Rock has a long term EBITDA target of US$150 million per annum and its current undiluted market cap is A$47 million.

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Fri, 03 Feb 2017 11:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/172596/black-rock-mining-to-deliver-a-low-capex-high-margin-graphite-mine-172596.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining to expand forecast graphite production ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/170839/black-rock-mining-to-expand-forecast-graphite-production-170839.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has decided to upgrade its pre-feasibility study to incorporate the recently delineated high grade portion of the Cascades deposit at the Mahenge graphite project located in Tanzania.

The company plans to minimise capital expenditure through an initial production rate of 60,000 tonnes per annum graphite concentrates from first stage and then expanding to120,000 tonnes per annum.

A third stage expansion of an additional 100,000 tonnes per annum is also being evaluated at scoping study level.

The pre-feasibility study is now due for completion in Q1, 2017.

Steven Tambanis, managing director, commented:

"We have taken the opportunity to substantially increase our target for steady state production from our scoping study to take advantage of our 15.9 million tonne contained graphite Mineral Resource whilst ensuring our pre-production capex remains at an industry leading level."


Background

Black Rock owns graphite tenure in the Mahenge region, Tanzania, a country that hosts world‐class graphite mineralisation.

The Mahenge project resource is comprised of three deposits – Ulanzi, Epanko and Cascade and is the fourth largest JORC graphite resource globally.

On 12 December 2016, the company reported a substantial increase in its Cascades resource estimate to 53 million tonnes at 8.3% total graphitic content (TGC) including a high grade portion of 14 million tonnes at 12.1% TGC.

This high grade portion is expected to have low strip ratios and similar metallurgical characteristics as Ulanzi, which should deliver a high purity concentrates from simple flotation circuit processing.

It is expected to deliver the Mahenge graphite project industry leading low capital and operating costs.

Coupled with this development, the company has also decided to plan for a much larger mine to be delivered in stages.

The key objective for the base case scenario is lowest possible capex at optimum production levels.


Spherical graphite scoping study

The company has completed a substantial first pass evaluation of spherical graphite potential for its high purity graphite concentrates.

Black Rock has demonstrated the ability to make high purity graphite that exceeds the strictest battery specifications achieving up to 99.9999% purity.

Coated spherical graphite was manufactured in December 2016 and is being used for the company’s first battery cell test program.

Bulk and pilot scale testing of graphite ore is taking place in January 2017 to confirm a final flotation processing flowsheet and to provide bulk quantities of high purity graphite for commercial scale spheronising tests.

Quotes are being received to provide detailed capital and operating costs of spherical graphite production and purification with the objective of delivering a spherical graphite scoping study by end of Q1 2017.


Analysis

The high grade portion of the Cascades deposit is exceptional in terms of tonnage and grade and is expected to materially enhance the Mahenge Graphite Project pre-feasibility study.

Importantly, the newly proposed ramp up profile will appropriately match the likely growth in demand for Black Rock’s graphite product over the next decade; ensuring market penetration assumptions are defendable.

Furthermore, former managing director of ASX listed Highfield Resources Ltd, Anthony Hall, has been appointed head of strategy under an initial twelve month consulting contract to further develop and help execute corporate strategy.

Hall led the team responsible for developing Highfield’s potash projects in Spain from a concept into world class potash projects and considers the Mahenge Graphite Project to be endowed with sector leading attributes.

His appointment is the first step to expanding the company’s technical and management capabilities with the intention of taking the Mahenge Graphite Project into production.

Shares in Black Rock are up 190% year to date and have popped 20% intra-day, currently trading at $0.145.

Black Rock’s ongoing focus is to develop this resource into a long life, low cost mining operation and the release of the pre-feasibility study is expected to be highly anticipated by the market.

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Thu, 22 Dec 2016 11:40:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/170839/black-rock-mining-to-expand-forecast-graphite-production-170839.html
<![CDATA[News - Black Rock Mining increases total graphite resource by 25% ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/170272/black-rock-mining-increases-total-graphite-resource-by-25-170272.html Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has increased its JORC resource by 25% to 203 million tonnes grading 7.8% total graphitic content (TGC) at the Mahenge graphite project located in Tanzania.

The resource upgrade was at the Cascades deposit, one of Mahenge’s three graphite deposits. The Cascades resource increased to 52.8 million tonnes at 8.3% TGC.

Cascades contains a high grade graphite zone from surface and Black Rock is now assessing the impact of Cascade’s higher grade feed in a mining operation.

Stephen Copulos, chairman, commented: “The high grade portion from surface of 14 million tonnes at 12.1% TGC is exceptional in terms of tonnes and grade and likely strip ratio.

“We believe this will deliver industry leading operational cash costs for a project that has already demonstrated its ability to deliver a high purity product from conventional flotation circuit process.”


Background

Black Rock owns graphite tenure in the Mahenge region, Tanzania, a country that hosts world‐class graphite mineralisation.

The Mahenge project resource is comprised of three deposits – Ulanzi, Epanko and Cascade and is the fourth largest JORC graphite resource globally.

A positive scoping study in March 2016 led into the current pre-feasibility study which is expected to be released over the coming months.

The company intends to complete a definitive feasibility study by mid-2017.

Black Rock recently achieved 99.99994% purity using a simple thermal purification process on flake graphite concentrate from Mahenge.


Resource details

The Cascades JORC resource increase to 52.8 million tonnes at 8.3% TGC expands the total Mahenge Project JORC resource to 203 million tonnes at 7.8% TGC. 

The Cascades JORC resource contains a higher grade zone from surface of 14 million tonnes at 12.1% TGC, which represents a 22% increase in grade compared to the Ulanzi high grade zone of 9.9% TGC.

In addition to the high grade zone, Cascades is expected to deliver an increase in free dig depth and a lower strip ratio that is likely to deliver significantly lower operating costs.

The Cascades block model is currently being integrated into the Mahenge pre-feasibility study (PFS).


Analysis

Mahenge is the fourth largest JORC compliant graphite resource in the world.

This offers significant flexibility for potential development into a multi-generation mining operation. 

It has potential to be mined from multiple zones at low strip ratios, high-graded to accelerate capital payback in early years and can be scaled up in future due to the large resource size. 

In addition, extensive metallurgical test work indicates that high purity concentrates up to 99% TGC can be made from a straightforward flotation circuit for both oxide and primary mineralisation.

Furthermore, an extensive spherical and expandable graphite assessment program indicates that Mahenge graphite can be used to make premium products. 

Mahenge has potential to deliver attractive economics due to its large size, high grades and extensive surface outcrop that offers low strip ratios and low cost mining.

The Cascade JORC resource is currently being incorporated into the PFS and is likely to deliver industry leading cash costs.

Black Rock’s ongoing focus is to develop this resource into a long life, low cost mining operation.

Shares are up 170% year to date, currently priced at $0.135.

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Mon, 12 Dec 2016 09:40:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/170272/black-rock-mining-increases-total-graphite-resource-by-25-170272.html