JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Battery Minerals is gearing up to start the development of its Montepuez graphite project, in Mozambique, following its $20-million over-subscribed capital raising, the appointment of the lead design engineer and ordering of the primary crusher.
Battery Minerals is progressing its detailed grade control drilling to underpin daily mining plans ahead of obtaining the mining licence in December 2017, the final approvals in the March quarter and the scheduled construction start in April.
The appointment of lead design engineers DRA and Minnovo to complete the detailed design work on the process plant for Montepuez is a key milestone for the project, along with the order placed for a 1.3-million-tonnes-a-year primary crusher, which is already under construction and expected to arrive on site in March.
“The primary crusher has a capacity of more than twice Montepuez’s requirements, giving it ample ability to meet the company’s needs for the planned expansion in 2020,” said Battery Minerals executive chairperson David Flanagan on Friday, adding that the crusher would be delivered at a significant discount to quotes received as part of the value engineering study completed last month.
The process to appoint key personnel is also now under way.
“To help ensure the development of Montepuez can proceed as quickly as possible, Battery Minerals is also pleased to advise that it is has initiated an extensive recruitment campaign. This will be aimed at identifying key development and technical personnel for roles in Perth and Mozambique,” he said.
Mine commissioning is expected during the December quarter of 2018, with first graphite concentrate exports scheduled for the March quarter in 2019.