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Northern Graphite to start production at Okanjande Mine in mid-2024

February 17, 2023

Northern Graphite Corporation has announced plans to start production at its recently acquired Okanjande mine in mid-2024, with a projected output of 30,000 tonnes per year of graphite.

The mine was acquired from Imerys Group and its joint venture partner for N$286 million (US$15.8 million) in cash.

Additionally, the Canadian miner paid N$42.4 million (EUR2.2 million) in lease payments for the use of land and buildings.
The acquisition was financed through N$653 million (US$36 million) in debt, royalty and stream financing provided by funds managed by Sprott Resource Streaming and Royalty Corp.

Northern Graphite originally intended to invest approximately N$254 million (US$14 million) to build a new tailings facility and modify the Okorusu processing plant to increase throughput and recovery and improve flake size distribution.

However, Northern Graphite is now considering a new plan to move the Okorusu processing plant to the Okanjande mine site and install new grinding mills in a plant built there.

This would eliminate ore transportation costs and lead to better project economics.
"This scenario would represent phase 1 of an ultimate plan to build 100,000-150,000 tpy of graphite production capacity adjacent to the Okanjande deposit to meet rapidly growing EV and battery demand," the company said.

Northern Graphite began mining operations at Okanjande in 2017 and up until November 2018, the material was trucked 78km to the Okorusu Fluorspar Plant, which had been retrofitted to process graphite bearing material.

The processing plant did not perform to expectations and was put on care and maintenance at that time.

The company intends to capitalise on the growing demand for graphite from electric vehicle and battery manufacturers.

Graphite demand is expected to surge over the next few years as the world increasingly adopts EVs and energy storage systems. The mineral is a critical component of lithium-ion batteries, with each EV requiring around 60-80kg of graphite.

The price of natural graphite has risen steadily in recent years, from around US$1,000 per tonne in 2015 to over US$2,000 per tonne in 2022, and is expected to continue to rise as demand outstrips supply.

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Last modified on Sunday, 19 February 2023 19:35