Volt Resources gets ready for stage 1 development of Tanzania’s largest graphite resource
Bunyu is the largest JORC resource deposit in Tanzania with 461 million tonnes at 4.9% total graphitic carbon (TGC).
This comprises a measured resource of 20 million tonnes at 5.3% TGC, a 155 million tonne indicated resource at 5% TGC and a 286 million tonne inferred resources at 4.9% TGC.
This provides 22.6 million tonnes of contained graphite.
The first stage is focused on developing a 20-25,000 tonne per annum graphite mine and processing facility, with planned exports of graphite products to USA, China and other markets.
The selected mining scenario, based on the outcomes of an open pit optimisation, is for three pits to be developed over seven years with a total of 2.8 million tonnes of mill feed being mined.
The first stage is based on a mining and processing plant annual throughput rate of 400,000 tonnes to produce an average of 23,700 tonnes per annum of graphite products.
This would position Volt as a significant participant in the global flake graphite market.
Outline of ore movement from pit to market
Financial analysis showed favourable pre-tax net present value of US$18.6 million and internal rate of return of 21% over a payback period of 4.4 years.
Total earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation would be US$93.6 million over the 7-year stage I project period, coming to an annual average of US$13.1 million.
Bunyu stage 1 FS - financial performance summary
Volt recently signed a second binding offtake agreement for Bunyu graphite, taking the total annual commitment to 10,000 tonnes.
The agreement with major Chinese graphite company Qingdao Tiangshengda Graphite is for 9,000 tonnes annually from stage I production over five years with an option for a further five-year term.
This follows a previous binding agreement with US-based graphene company Nano Graphene Inc.
Stage II: targeting battery sector and other markets
Volt’s proposed stage 2 development will expand on stage 1 production based on the market demand for Bunyu’s products and leverage the large-scale graphite resource and proximity to critical infrastructure.
The proposed expansion is targeted to meet expected significant increases in demand for coarse flake graphite in the expandable graphite market and fine flake size products for battery anode material and other industrial uses.
Flake graphite demand forecast 2014-2025
Volt believes that demand for flake graphite from the expandable applications sector will continue to increase ahead of industry forecasts, representing a significant opportunity for the company over the short to medium term.
For the growth sectors of lithium-ion batteries and fire-retardant building materials, it is expected most new supply will be naturally-sourced graphite.
Volt is currently completing the environmental approval for the Bunyu project and has lodged two mining licence applications covering the footprint for stage 1 and the stage 2 expansion project.
Concurrently, the company is working with Exotix Capital and other advisers to seek approval for and issue a prospectus to raise the development capital for the stage 1 development.
Once funding is obtained, Volt will proceed with the front-end engineering and design for stage 1 and place orders for long lead time components.
Concurrent with the stage 1 development, Volt also plans to commence work on the definitive feasibility study for the stage 2 expansion.