New Energy Minerals Ltd (ASX:NXE) has confirmed project expandability and flake purity at its Caula Graphite and Vanadium Project in recent metallurgical tests conducted by German-based NGS Trading and Consulting.
The testing indicates the Caula project in Mozambique is suitable to produce expandable graphite, spherical graphite and other applications including flame retardants and graphite foil.
Two composite samples of graphite concentrate, one from the oxide zone and one from the fresh zone were submitted to NGS for purification tests, as well as a full site of 25 different tests for the preparation of expandable graphite conducted over a mix of all grain sizes.
New Energy managing director Bernard Oliver said: “The specialised independent test work returned some truly excellent results for the Caula graphite samples and concluded that they could not find any restriction on the application of this type of expandable graphite.
“The report further states that the chemically-purified flake graphite qualifies for the production of spherical graphite and all kind of other applications including flame retardants and graphite foil.”
The metallurgical test work returned the following results:
Expansion volumes of 430 millilitres per gram for plus-500-micron flakes;
Expansion volumes of 390 millilitres per gram for plus-300 to minus-500-micron flakes; and
Expansion volumes of 350 millilitres per gram for plus 180 to minus-300-micron flakes.
The industry benchmark standard of 230 millilitres per gram is considered an excellent expansion rate and is used as a reference point for expandable graphite test work.
The first set of expandable tests produced ratios of up to 430 millilitres per gram for both the oxide zone and fresh zone composite samples and an average of 295 millilitres for all flake sizes combined.
Purity test work results
Chemical purification test work was also conducted on both the oxide zone and fresh zone samples returning the following results: