Madagascar-focused miner Tirupati Graphite has announced that a second preconcentrate plant at the Vatomina project will be complete by the end of October.
The company is optimising its processing plant by improving the ore’s head grade from 3% to more than 4%, to reach 18 000 t/y capacity, compared with 12 000 t/y currently.
Tirupati’s initial preconcentrate plant achieved nameplate ore feed capacity of 600 t/d at the start of September, and will be synchronised with the second preconcentrate plant soon.
Meanwhile, construction of both a preconcentrate and a main processing plant at the Sahamamy project is progressing to final stages of completion.
The company will start trial runs in the next two weeks and ramp up production by the end of the year.
The existing 3 000 t/y plant at Sahamamy is operating at near-rated capacity, with the dehydrated concentrate from the plant being further processed at Vatomina.
Upon completion of the second preconcentrate plant at Vatomina, the company will decommission the 3 000 t/y operation. The equipment used at the Sahamamy plant will be redeployed into reconfigured operations – with two preconcentrate and one final concentrate plant at each of the two projects.
The reorganisation will result in the company having a net ore throughput capacity of 2 400 t/d and a nameplate production capacity of 36 000 t/y of flake graphite across the two projects.
Tirupati has, therefore, set its guidance at between 2 500 t and 2 900 t of flake graphite for the three months ending December 31, and at between 6 100 t and 6 500 t for the three months ending March 31, 2023.
The company will gradually build up to the intended 8 000 t a quarter nameplate capacity.
Tirupati is also commissioning a 100 kW hydro power plant at Sahamamy, from which first power generation is expected in mid-October.
The power plant should save the company about 350 ℓ/d of diesel consumption.
Tirupati plans on building a second hydropower plant at Sahamamy, with a 400 kW output and expected savings of at least 1 400 ℓ/d of diesel.
The company remains focused on its long-term goal of producing about 8% of global flake graphite, or 400 000 t/y, by 2030.