PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A feasibility study into Balama graphite project, in Mozambique, has estimated a capital cost of $69.4-million to support production of 58 000 t/y over a mine life of 27 years.
ASX-listed Battery Minerals said on Wednesday that Balama would generate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of about $35-million a year, with life-of-mine cash generation estimated at $1.9-billion and sales revenues estimated at $2.9-billion.
The Balama project is expected to have a payback period of 2.3 years, and will have a pretax internal rate of return of 5%.
Battery Minerals MD David Flanagan said on Wednesday that the feasibility study underpinned a maiden ore reserve of 19.7-million tonnes, at 11.1% total graphitic carbon, for 2.2-million tonnes of contained graphite.
“The Balama Central graphite project immediately adjoins the world’s largest graphite export operation, which is currently being delivered into all the world’s major lithium ion battery manufacturing markets,” Flanagan said.
“As a result, this area is one of the world’s most important suppliers of minerals, which are essential to the assembly of lithium-ion batteries.”
Flanagan noted that Battery Minerals was in the process of completing full project financing for the Montepuez project, where the company was developing its Stage 150 000 t/y graphite flake project.
“Given that leading industry forecasters expect graphite prices to increase as a result of substantial supply shortages over the next few years, we see significant opportunity to grow the forecast cash flows from our two projects.”
“Lithium-ion batteries currently cannot be manufactured without graphite. We are completely focused on being among the world’s most competitive suppliers of this essential product while we also deliver very good returns for shareholders and help deliver a revolution in electric vehicle and renewable energy.”