PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The ASX’s only graphite producer, Bass Metals, is hoping to have its Graphmada project, in Madagascar, produce at nameplate capacity of 6 000 t/y by the second quarter of 2017.
Bass CEO Tim McManus told Mining Weekly Online on the sidelines of the Africa Downunder conference, that production at Graphmada had recently reached 3 600 t/y, which was already an improvement on the 1 500 t produced in 2015.
Bass took ownership of the Graphmada mine earlier this year, following a A$15.25-million deal to acquire StratMin Global Resources’ majority share in the project.
Since then, the company has implemented an optimisation programme aimed at increasing output. This includes process plant improvements, the construction of a new workshop facility, and the education and training of staff to improve mining standards.
In addition to this, Bass is also planning an expansion project which could potentially increase the resource base.
McManus said that while the expansion plans were still in the very early stages, production at Graphmada could increase by between 12 000 t/y and 20 000 t/y, with capital costs likely to be between A$10-million and A$15-million.
“We will be doing the studies [on the expansion] to understand the scale of what we can do, but we won’t be oversupplying the market. We will maintain prices,” McManus said.