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Kibaran Resources Study Shows High Quality Graphite At Merelani East

Kibaran Resources' (ASX:KNL) metallurgical testwork has confirmed the high quality of its graphite deposit at the Merelani East Graphite Project in Tanzania.

Testwork from the initial exploration program returned a high distribution of large flake graphite with very high grade carbon concentrates recovered from simple flotation.

Overall recovery was 97.1% grading 96.2% total graphitic carbon with 32.7% of the concentrate being jumbo flake (>300 micron) at 98.1 % TGC.

The project is located in a world-class graphite province, with a MoU signed to provide access to strategic graphite rights.

Trenching has also doubled the graphite mineralisation strike length to over 4 kilometres and supports a substantial near surface occurrence.

The results support the company's staged expansion strategy of producing a premium quality graphite product from a separate source to the Epanko Graphite Project and meet the longer-term requirements of the broader graphite market which is seeking supplier diversity.

Executive director Andrew Spinks told Proactive Investors exclusively:

"The flotation results at Merelani are exceptional; the results support our view we will develop Merelani after Epanko which will broaden our product supply.

"Flake size is key to commercial viability and saleability, but carbon content is also critical to determining value."

Spinks added in today's announcement that graphite end users and traders are looking for diversity of suppliers and this has driven Kibaran's strategy over the past three years - to broaden its own product supply base without compromising on quality.

Metallurgical Testwork

The initial exploration programme consisted of 22 reverse circulation drillholes, two diamond drillholes and eight trenches that targeted three prospects.

Flotation results for metallurgical sample AMT001 achieved a 97.1% recovery, with the concentrate grading 96.2% fixed carbon and has delivered an extremely high proportion of large and jumbo flake (>180 micron) material with extremely high fixed carbon grades.

This is significant given the current market shortage of large flake high grade product and that higher value graphite is determined by both flake size and carbon content.

Analysis indicates Merelani East graphite is suitable for all markets (i.e. Micronised, Expanded and Spherical) and the very high graphite concentrate grade provides access to even higher value niche markets, graphene production and use in 3D printing.

No acids were used to achieve the high carbon concentrates.

The results support Kibaran's future expansion strategy of producing a premium quality graphite product from a separate source to the Epanko Graphite Project and meet the longer-term requirements of the broader graphite market which is seeking supplier diversity.

Trenching

Trenching results received support the drilling results from the first 12 reverse circulation holes. Better results include:

- 37 metres at 7.0% TGC from trench AMT003;
- 40 metres at 8.4% TGC from trench AMT004; and
- 48 metres at 7.3% TGC from trench AMT006.

The trench results doubled the total strike length of graphite mineralisation to more than four kilometres.

Mineralisation appears consistent to that at the adjacent Block C graphite mine which produced commercial quantities of high grade, large flake graphite in the mid-1990s.

Analysis

Kibaran Resources' testwork has confirmed its belief in the quality of the Merelani East project, returning a high proportion of large flake graphite and high carbon content.

This is significant given the current market shortage of large flake high grade graphite.

Flake size and carbon content is one of the key reasons why the company's Epanko Project has attracted binding offtake agreements and Merelani has already attracted sales interest. The latest results are expected attract additional interest.

Equally, the scope of the Merelani East project has been greatly increased by trenching doubling the total strike length to more than four kilometres.

The project is located in a world-class graphite province and the latest results confirm its similarity to the nearby previously producing Block C graphite mine.

The mine produced commercial quantities of extremely high grade, large flake graphite, and had the largest historical production of 15,000 tonnes per annum in East Africa.

Tanzania has a stable government committed to mining sector growth and development, significant mining support services, extensive infrastructure network (road, rail and ports) and has the third largest gold industry in Africa.

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