Further test work is now being conducted by Independent Metallurgical Operations to better understand and target the range of applications for its graphite.
The initial review by IMO has established that the graphite market is broken into five main sectors:
- Battery Market (includes Off-grid Energy Storage, EV's);
- Specialty Graphite Market;
- Steel & Refractory;
- Lubricants Automotive & Electrical; and
- Specialty & Other Graphite Market.
Initial metallurgical test work undertaken by ALS Laboratories confirmed that Triton's Mozambique graphite (TMG) ore is readily able to produce graphite concentrates that assay from 95.8% total graphitic carbon to 97.3%TGC through standard floatation methods.
These contain low levels of impurities and can be upgraded to 99.9%C using simple chemical wash.
"IMO's research results demonstrate the suitability of Triton's Mozambique Graphite concentrate in nearly all main sectors of the graphite market," managing director Brad Boyle said
"Further test work is now being conducted to establish the detailed technical specifications of the TMG concentrate, to help Triton determine which of these sectors to target further."
The research by Triton confirms the demand in the Battery Market continues to grow, as new methods and technology is applied to create more efficient batteries for the energy storage systems and electric vehicles.
Based on the metallurgical and mineralogical test results to date, the applications for which the TMG concentrate is suitable, according to the independent IMO study, include:
- Dry Cell, Lead Acid and Alkaline Batteries;
- Lithium Ion, Spherical Graphite and Fuel Cells;
- Refractory Crucibles;
- Foundry Core and Mould Wash;
- Lubricants and Releasing Agents;
- Brake Linings;
- Carbon Brushes;
- Powder Metallurgy;
- Graphite Powders;
- Polymer Additives; and
- Conductive Polymers and Plastics.
Based on the positive metallurgical recovery results, high purity levels and the extraordinary quality of the TMG achieved to date, further testing and analysis could expand the list of applications to encompass all of the graphite sectors and potentially a full range of the graphite sub-sectors.
Nicanda Hill is the world's largest known combined graphite-vanadium deposit with an Indicated and Inferred resource of 1,457 million tonnes at 10.7% total graphitic carbon and 0.27% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5).
It hosts multiple high grade graphite zones and contains good quality medium and coarse flake graphite.
In February, the company engaged a complete team of technical experts to assist with the completion of the DFS for the project.
This gives the company confidence to complete the DFS by the end of 2015 and progress the project towards graphite production.
Nicanda Hill is planned as a shallow open pit operation, focused initially on the MGM graphite zones and accessed by three separate ramps.
The shallow nature of the open pit operation combined with a mineralised waste grade averaging 8%TGC, represents exceptionally low technical risk.
Average grades for the first five years expected to be in excess of 13%TGC.
An independent Scoping Study has estimated pre-tax NPV at US$1,230 million and IRR at 137%.
Capex is estimated at US$110 million with FOB operating costs of US$315 per tonne to pay back within 12 months of commissioning.
Triton Minerals already controls the largest known graphite-vanadium deposit in the world at Nicanda Hill and the research demonstrates the quality of its graphite.
This is anticipated to assist the company in its ability to accommodate the material requirement of the broader and expanding graphite market.
Earlier this month, Triton raised $1 million through a placement of 7.1 million shares priced at $0.14 each to institutional and sophisticated investors to progress the Feasibility Study at Nicanda Hill.
Significant price catalysts are ahead for Triton including:
- Advancing discussions with potential offtake partners for Nicanda Hill;
- Completing the Nicanda Hill Environmental Study; and
- Completing the Nicanda Hill Definitive Feasibility Study by the end of 2015.
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