TSX-listed NextSource Materials says increases in global logistics costs have resulted in a $3-million increase in the construction budget for Phase 1 of the Molo graphite mine, in Madagascar.
The Phase 1 capital cost budget is now $24-million, plus a further $3-million for working capital.
Earthworks and civil construction at the mine site are progressing on schedule and will be ready for the arrival of the processing plant and auxiliary buildings in June, the company reports.
Completion of construction and plant commissioning is expected in the third quarter of this year.
Further, the Madagascar subsidiary of CrossBoundary Energy (CBE) has started construction of the solar and battery hybrid power plant for Phase 1 of the Molo mine.
NextSource in November 2021 announced that it had appointed CBE to build, own and operate a solar, battery and thermal hybrid energy power plant over a 20-year term.
The plant will consist of a 2.6 MW solar photovoltaic facility, a 1 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) and a 3.1 MW thermal facility, comprising diesel generators. The plant will be located adjacent to the Molo mine site and will provide up to 33% of the mine's Phase 1 electricity needs from renewable solar energy, with the remainder to be provided by the diesel generators.
NextSource and CBE plan to optimise the solar component throughout the contract to increase the percentage of renewable energy available to the mine.
The thermal facility, solar facility and BESS are all expected to be installed and operational prior to initiating commissioning of the Molo processing plant.
"The solar facility and battery energy storage system is integral to our commitment to minimise our carbon emissions and build a sustainable mine. Over the life of the project, we will aim to further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, with the added benefit of lower costs and, therefore, better project economics," NextSource president and CEO Craig Scherba comments.