Comet Resources Ltd (ASX:CRL) has further demonstrated the economic potential of its Springdale Graphite Project in southern Western Australia with strong graphite grades and recoveries achieved in initial metallurgical test-work.
Final optimised flotation results on material from a diamond drilling program at the project achieved a total carbon (TC) grade of 96.9% with a recovery of 92.5% TC in the sample.
Comet believes these results demonstrate the potential to produce high-value graphite products from the project with potential applications in high-price graphite markets for anode material, and in lubricants.
Results demonstrate “economic potential”
Managing director Matthew O’Kane said: “The results of this test work demonstrate the potential for an economic project at Springdale.
“While large flake graphite is paid a premium versus mid-size flake, high-quality superfine products attract prices in excess of large flake, with battery anode spherical uncoated product at 25 microns attracting prices of US$2,800/tonne and at 10 microns US$3,800.
“Further test work will determine the amenability of the Springdale product for these anode applications."
The company plans further tests on end-uses for the product once a bulk sample of the concentrate is produced.
Three processes to investigate
Further test-work on a 5-10 kilogram sample of float concentrate in Europe is designed to convert the concentrate obtained by flotation into value-added saleable products.
Three different processes are to be investigated:
- Purification to carbon content above 99.9%, as these carbon levels pave the way for high tech applications like usage in batteries;
- Micronising for products which require well defined small flake graphite particle for their end uses, eg in lubricants, powder metallurgy applications or in carbon brushes; and
- Spheronisation for usage in Lithium-Ion-Battery Anodes for the rapidly expanding market for electrical vehicles due to the global drive to de-carbonise the transport network.
These test workstreams are designed to confirm the suitability of Springdale Project graphite as a precursor material for these high value-added products.
The next step is to first produce the required bulk sample of float concentrate for shipment to the facilities in Europe.
This work is expected to be completed during the quarter, with testing of the concentrate planned to commence afterwards.
Santa Teresa due diligence
O'Kane added: “In parallel with this test work we are continuing to advance the due diligence work on the Santa Teresa high-grade gold project and preparation for the initial drill program at the Barraba Copper Project.”