Orom-Cross graphite project, Uganda – update

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23rd June 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Orom-Cross graphite project.


Project Owner/s
Graphite, nickel and copper developer Blencowe Resources.

Project Description
A prefeasibility study (PFS) has highlighted an exceptional long-life project that delivers considerable returns over an initial life-of-mine of 14 years.

An estimated 600 000 t/y of ore will be mined from the commissioning date and this will increase to 2.4-million tonnes a year by the time the project is fully ramped up in Year 10.

Mining will be free-dig, with no drill-and-blast required. Initial ore will come from saprolite (clay) at about 15 m to 20 m depth on average. Both deposits (Northern syncline and Camp lode) identified in the drilling programmes will be mined and a composite blend of both will be fed into the processing plant that will be built on site.

An initial 36 000 t/y of end-product will be delivered from the plant as concentrates, which will increase in two additional stages to 147 000 t/y once the mine is fully ramped up. 

Further resources, higher production volumes and an extended mine life can all be obtained at any stage by drilling additional ready-targets. This, however, is not currently considered a priority.

The processing flowsheet comprises a flash and rougher flotation stage, followed by a primary cleaning circuit with a polishing mill and three stages of cleaner flotation. The intermediate concentrate is classified and then further upgraded in secondary cleaning circuits with stirred media mills, followed by cleaner flotation.

Orom-Cross will deliver at least five different end-products, characterised by size fractions of +50 mesh, + 80 mesh, +100 mesh, +150 mesh and -100 mesh. These products will have different markets and will be branded and packaged at site.

Initially, transport to port will be by road, but it is expected that a rail option might be available nearby by 2025, further reducing logistics costs.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $482-million and an internal rate of return of 50%.

Capital Expenditure
The initial capital requirement has been lowered by 23% to $62-million since the preliminary economic assessment was announced in 2021. 

Planned Start/End Date
Blencowe will start the main operations from 2025 at an initial output of 36 000 t/y of end-product.

Latest Developments
Blencowe Resources has announced that additional metallurgical testwork on Orom-Cross has been completed by a Chinese graphite technical specialist laboratory, based at Wuhan University, in China.

Blencowe appointed Wuhan University in partnership with Jilin New Technology to undertake metallurgical testwork on material gathered from its drilling campaigns, which covered the Northern Syncline and Camp Lode areas within Orom-Cross.

This testwork is critical to understanding the quality of the end-product that Orom-Cross can deliver as a high-grade graphite concentrate, and what the process flow will look like to achieve this on a commercial scale.

It also provides significantly greater quantum of end-product for end-user testing, which is critical within the definitive feasibility study (DFS), Blencowe has indicated.

The programme has been designed to deliver on five objectives. The first is to confirm that a 95% to 97% total graphitic carbon (TGC) pure concentrate is achievable on the larger sample size with low impurities, particularly thorium and vanadium, as previously indicated.

It further aims to confirm that a recovery greater than 90% is achievable for this concentrate; the liberation process maintains a majority of jumbo, extra-large or large flakes within the concentrate; the process flow diagram for the pilot plant design as part of the DFS; and to deliver bulk concentrate to enable Blencowe to initiate discussions with potential offtake partners.

Blencowe has highlighted that all five objectives have been met or exceeded in this round of testwork.

Open-cycle flotation tests produced recoveries of between 92% and 94% (previously 90%), and concentrate grades consistently range between 95% to 98% for all graphite mesh sizes.

The additional metallurgical testwork was commissioned to test the required pilot plant configuration, and all metallurgical testwork undertaken to date shows a robust flowsheet capable of repeatable metallurgy for a wide range of feed samples from Orom-Cross.

The pilot plant circuit optimisation undertaken to date has lifted the large flake recovery by 3% and also lifted the fines concentrate grade by about 2% TGC while maintaining the grade in other flake sizes.

This is important in terms of further downstream processing of these fines to deliver a 99.9% spheronised, purified graphite battery-ready product, Blencowe has said.

These “highly encouraging” results will enable the company to proceed with further improvements and optimisation to the plant ahead of processing the previously announced 100 t bulk sample, which has already been extracted and exported from Uganda to China.

Blencowe will continue to refine the commercial plant design throughout the DFS to optimise the pilot process and the end product it will deliver.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Battery Limits (PFS); and IMO (technical testwork); and CPC Engineering (DFS).

Contact Details for Project Information
Blencowe Resources, tel +44 1624 681 250 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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