The recent completion of an initial drilling program at the project's T12 prospect has delivered intervals of very large flake graphite at grades higher than 5% total graphitic carbon (NYSEMKT:TGC) in every hole drilled.
The mineralisation has been dominated by particle sizes larger than 300 microns, with 43% of the material measuring greater than 500 microns.
Metallurgical test work carried out by Triton earlier this year has indicated that Ancuabe graphite is of the highest quality with respect to flake size and purity.
Trial concentrate production achieved an average grade of 98.2%TGC at 97% recovery through a simple four stage flotation process.
Only the western margins of a previously defined 4-kilometre-long target at the site have been drill tested so far.
East of T12, another target known as T16 has also demonstrated continuously exposed large-flake graphite over a horizontal width of 100 metres.
This discovery extends over a strike length of 800 metres and is currently the subject of a trench sampling program to determine graphite grade distribution.
Very large flake graphite sourced from Ancuabe, may provide Triton the ability to produce a wide size range of high-quality graphite concentrates in order to cater for a variety of end-user requirements.
Ancuabe could also position Triton to take advantage of an expected future increase in demand for jumbo and large flake graphite.
Importantly, the recently explored T12 area is only 9 kilometres from the Graphite Kropfmuhl (NASDAQ:GK) graphite operation, which is currently undergoing refurbishment in preparation for a production restart.
Whilst in operation, this mine was world renowned as a preferred source of large-flake, high-value graphite.
Triton has a formal strategic alliance with GK to explore and identify the graphite potential of the Ancuabe region.
This cooperation has included a joint Ancuabe site visit by the two operators earlier this month with a view to further enhancing exploration and development activities.
The news follows quickly on a move by Triton to generate up to A$11.3 million to define resources at Ancuabe and the Nicanda West (also in Mozambique).
As part of the funding effort, GMP Securities Australia has agreed to partially underwrite the offer to a value of $4 million subject to conditions precedent, termination events and other terms and conditions customary for an underwriting agreement of its nature.
Funds will also be applied to expansion of a Definitive Feasibility Study to include Ancuabe, Nicanda West and a joint venture manufacturing facility in Mozambique and China.
Part of the proceeds will likewise be used to fund the start of construction at this facility with JV partner Yichang Xincheng Graphite.
The drilling results at the T12 anomaly are considered extremely encouraging for an initial exploration pass, with every hole returning significant large-flake graphite.
The potential demonstrated by this success is compounded by the fact that only a small percentage of the targeted area has so far been drill tested.
The full potential of Ancuabe is therefore yet to be realised.
The high prices that high-purity jumbo flake graphite can attract along with confirmation of in-situ grades that are typical for this style of deposit are positive indicators for a viable graphite operation at Ancuabe.
Also, the proximity of T12 to established infrastructure such as hydroelectric grid power and a relatively short haul by mostly sealed public roads to the port of Pemba is extremely advantageous.
Should exploration results support a mining operation, this existing infrastructure would allow for rapid advancement to production.
The geometry of the mineralised system is ideally suited to a low strip ratio open pit mining scenario.
The substantial horizontal widths - the limits of which have yet to be tested - in conjunction with the shallow dipping geometry may also prove favourable for a low-cost strip mine.
Ancuabe, meanwhile, maintains considerable scope for expansion as an exploration project, with the T16 area believed to have potential for economic concentrations of large-flake, high-value graphite.
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