On this news today, the share price is likely to lift.
The resource drilling was undertaken to upgrade the current JORC resource with large flake graphite mineralisation continuing to be encountered at Mahenge and all drill holes intersected graphite in the western zone.
First assay results are expected this week.
Significantly, a resource upgrade is underway with completion expected in mid-late July.
In more detail
A total of 37 holes for 2,215 metres were completed at the Epanko deposit and all drill holes intersected graphite mineralisation in the Western Zone.
The latest drill campaign has doubled the strike length of graphite mineralisation to over one kilometre.
Notably, the widths of mineralisation encountered for both the Eastern and Western zone compare similarly to previous drilling programmes with graphite mineralisation remaining open in all directions.
JORC Resource Upgrade
Mineral resource estimation work is now underway and expected to be completed mid-July.
The drill program results will be applied to upgrade a portion of the existing JORC Inferred Mineral Resource of 14.9 million tonnes at 10.5% TGC (total graphitic carbon) for 1,560,000 tonnes of contained graphite.
This initial estimate only covers 20% of the project area.
Graphite market update - price increases in the offing
Meanwhile, mid-term pricing for premium quality large flake graphite is forecast to substantially increase, according to recent future price modelling by Toronto-based, independent research firm Stormcrow Capital Ltd.
The market is generally considered to be an opaque one.
Stormcrow has forecast pricing for Jumbo flake (+300 micron) to increase to US$6,170 per tonne in 20201, a near three-fold jump on 2013 prices.
Kibaran has the one of the highest flake distribution amongst its peers, which is supported by the binding offtake and sales agreement that was secured with a European Graphite Trader.
The company remains of the view that flake size distribution and saleability will be the key determining factors in developing new mines.
Drilling has focussed on two areas: along strike of the eastern zone drill holes where shallow, thick, robust zones of high graphite mineralisation have previously been identified.
While in May in the western zone between existing drilling, the company reported its best trench result measuring 117 metres at 10.0% TGC.
This continues the momentum building for Kibaran at Mahenge. It also follows written confirmation from Richland Resources Limited that it would accept the terms offered by Kibaran for the sole graphite rights to the historic Merelani graphite mine.
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