Demand for graphite is projected to increase 500 per cent over the next 10 years because of the expected exponential growth in the electric vehicle market, says Battery Minerals boss David Flanagan.
Speaking at the annual Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie, the former managing director of Atlas Iron says his company’s Montepuez graphite project in Mozambique was poised to be part of the global supply solution.
Graphite is a key ingredient in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles.
Montepuez hosts an indicated and inferred resource of 105.9mt at 7.74 per cent graphite at a 2.5 per cent cut-off.
Battery Minerals hopes to begin construction of its $US57 million to $US67 million project in the first half of next year, with first exports from the first quarter of 2019.
Mr Flanagan said he had chosen to hold off signing offtake agreements as part of a funding solution to the 20,000-30,000tpa project.
“The further out from a project you are, the bigger the discount you have to accept when signing offtake agreements,” he said.
Mr Flanagan said the company was entirely comfortable with Mozambique as a mining jurisdiction.
“There’s been no change in mining policy in Mozambique for 25 years,” he said.
“BHP is there, Rio is there, we already have environmental approvals and port allocation.”
The company was also investigating a downstream processing arm to add value to its product.
Source: The West Australian