Vancouver-based South Star Battery Metals has received the construction permit for its Santa Cruz graphite mine from the municipality of Itabela, in Brazil.
The municipal permit is the final approval needed for Phase 1 construction to begin in earnest, CEO Richard Pearce reports.
The $8-million Phase 1 operations entail a 5 000 t/y pilot plant, which should reach commercial production in the second quarter of 2023.
Phase 2 will represent a larger-scale concentration plant, currently planned to produce between 25 000 t/y and 30 000 t/y of concentrate. The sizing of the Phase 2 plant could be increased depending on the success of the Phase 1 operations, ongoing development of commercial relationships, and market conditions.
Meanwhile, Pearce says South Start has also held positive meetings with the state of Bahia development and industrial agencies, as well representatives from the major port facilities in Salvador.
“We presented additional details about Santa Cruz and our planned growth through Phase 2 (25 000 t/y of concentrates) and Phase 3 (50 000 t/y of concentrates).
“Santa Cruz will be the first major industrial facility in the municipality and one of the largest in the region as we scale operations,” he says.
Pearce adds that Santa Cruz has unparalleled existing infrastructure to support the company’s planned expansions.
“The existing infrastructure and facilities are significant factors contributing to our low capital intensity as well as our projected first quartile operating costs. We look forward to being the first new graphite production in the Americas in decades. We greatly appreciate all the representatives and our team’s participation in these productive meetings and supporting South Star.”