A scoping study into Triton Minerals’ Nicada Hill graphite project, in Mozambique, has estimated that the project could support a production of 210 000 t/y of graphite concentrate.
The scoping study was based on a 51-million-tonne indicated resource, grading 12.4% graphitic carbon, for 6.3-million tonnes, and incorporated a 1.8-million-tonne-a-year throughput plant.
It was estimated that the project would require a capital investment of about $110-million, while the free-on-board cash costs were estimated at $315/t.
Production would likely start in 2017, and the project was estimated to have an initial mine life of 30 years.
“The release of the Nicada Hill independent scoping study is a significant milestone for our company, given that exploration drilling only started in April this year,” said Triton MD and CEO Brad Boyle.
“It confirms the quality of the Nicada Hill resource and demonstrates the potential for Triton to become a leading global producer of high purity flake graphite.”
Boyle said that ongoing feasibility work was expected to improve the project economics as the higher grades identified by drilling to date would be defined with greater confidence and expanded.
He also pointed out that the scoping study was based on a relatively small percentage of the existing global resource at Nicada Hill, in order to test the commercial viability of a conservative base-case production scenario.
“More comprehensive metallurgical studies, which will form part of the future feasibility programme, combined with additional resource drilling may identify an alternate and improved development route,” Boyle said.
The positive scoping study had prompted Triton to start work on feasibility studies.(Miningweekly)