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Blencowe progresses DFS work on Orom-Cross, unlocks further funding

10th April 2024

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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London-listed Blencowe Resources has confirmed receipt of a third tranche of funding of $1-million from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

The DFC in September last year granted financing of $5-million to Blencowe to cover definitive feasibility study costs for the Orom-Cross project, in Uganda.

Blencowe has received $3-million of the total since the agreement was signed.

The company has completed spheronised and purified graphite (SPG) coating testwork and waste composite flake testwork studies in this regard, as well as initiated a commercial study into a proposed downstream processing facility to deliver 99.95% uncoated SPG in Uganda.

The results from these studies, including expandability testwork done by a US graphite technical expert, continue to confirm Orom-Cross as a standout graphite project with unique characteristics.

Blencowe explains that the coating of SPG product marks a crucial step towards product qualification, positioning Orom-Cross favourably with tier-one offtakers.

Additionally, achieving success in expandability testing enhances the potential for high-value niche sales for large-flake products which could drive the bulk of Orom-Cross revenues in the future.

Blencowe is exploring the potential establishment of a downstream processing facility to further upgrade the purity of the company's graphite from a 96% concentrate to 99.95% uncoated SPG. 

This transformation would elevate the value of the lowest-value small-flake concentrate from about $600/t to about $2 500/t, which would set Orom-Cross apart from its peers and meet significant demand for a 99.95% graphite product range sourced from outside China. 

Although still in its early stages, this strategy promises significant value addition with commercial studies under way to assess its integration into the core Orom-Cross production strategy.

Blencowe remains actively engaged with potential offtake partners worldwide, including tier-one offtakers that are evaluating product samples.

Blencowe's CEO and COO will travel to China and South Korea over the next few weeks to further these discussions and to establish key offtake relationships.

Commenting on the financing, chairperson Cameron Pearce says DFC has been a superb project partner, having helped to accelerate Blencowe’s pace of studies.

He is confident that the Orom-Cross project can be one of the few that successfully navigates the qualification and funding process necessary to achieve production status.

Orom-Cross has an indicated and inferred mineral resource of 24.5-million tonnes grading 6% total graphite content, however, the resource is defined from only 2% of the total tenement area, which represents considerable upside potential ahead.

Additionally, Blencowe says the development of the resource will benefit from a low strip ratio and free-dig operations, which, together with hydropower supplied by the national grid, will ensure low operating costs.

The project will also have a relatively low capital cost compared with most graphite peers owing to major infrastructure already being available at or near site.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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