An improved mine plan for Aim-listed Armadale Capital’s Mahenge Liandu graphite project, in Tanzania, has shown it is possible to produce one-million tonnes of ore after four years of ramping up production.
Armadale says BatteryLimits, which completed the mine plan, envisions an initial ramp-up to 500 000 t/y for the project after two years, and then to one-million tonnes after four years.
The production profile is more than the original throughput envisioned in the company’s scoping study, released in March 2018, which outlined a 49 000 t/y production capacity.
The increased production profile is expected to significantly transform the project’s definitive feasibility study (DFS) economics, which are currently being finalised.
The staged ramp-up takes advantage of near-surface high-grade mineralisation for the first four years and then scales up throughput in later years.
BatteryLimits says the ore will be produced at a grade of between 12% and 14% total graphitic carbon (TGC) for the first four years before averaging a grade of 9.5% with a low strip ratio as the project ramps up to processing one-million tonnes a year.
Armadale says the scoping study was limited to 25% of the project’s resource and the improved mine plan is based on less that 25% of the resource over a mine life of 17 years, which creates significant further upside potential.
The project has an indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate of 59.5-million tonnes at 9.8% TGC. This includes 11.5-million tonnes grading 10.5%, in the measured category, and 32.1-million tonnes grading 9.6% in the indicated category.
The company will provide further details on the way forward in the forthcoming DFS.