A unique feature of Mahenge allowed a high purity concentrate to be produced, which then allowed the high purity sample to be delivered.
Battery cell testing is underway with preliminary results expected in early 2017.
Steven Tambanis, managing director, commented:
"In the space of a few months we have confirmed excellent expandable and spherical test results, exceptionally high spherical graphite yields for battery applications and now confirmation that both flake concentrates and spherical products can deliver sector-leading purities."
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 third 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 in the December quarter.
The company intends to complete a definitive feasibility study by early to mid 2017.
Black Rock recently increased its total Mineral Resource by 24% to 162.5 million tonnes at 7.8% total graphitic content.
Infill drilling targeted the Ulanzi deposit, which resulted in a 39% resource upgrade to Ulanzi.
Product development program
The product development program is designed to fully evaluate all characteristics of high purity Mahenge graphite concentrates.
To date the program has confirmed:
- Excellent expandable graphite characteristics of up to 580 times for coarse flake, superior to expandable graphite currently in the marketplace;
- The ability to manufacture spherical graphite with high spheronising yields; and
- Confirmation that Mahenge graphite flakes are thick with the high tap densities for concentrates.
This latest set of test results confirms that both acid and thermal purification routes are viable option to achieve ultra-pure end products of the highest standards from Mahenge sourced graphite.
Acid purification of Mahenge graphite is expected to require much lower reagent volumes, resulting in cost advantages over competitor’s graphite concentrates.
The purity of the graphite produced from the thermal process is arguably the highest purity natural crystalline flake graphite ever produced from African flake.
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 pre-feasibility study is progressing as planned and is expected this quarter.
Black Rock’s ongoing focus is to develop this resource into a long life, low cost mining operation.
Shares are up 220% year to date, currently priced at $0.16.
The company ended the September quarter well-funded with $4.7 million in cash.