ASX-listed Walkabout Resources has announced a substantial upgrade to the ore reserve for its high grade Lindi Jumbo graphite project.
Tanzania - There is a high degree of confidence in the reserve with only measured and indicated resources being used in the calculation.
The potential for further upside in the resource endowment is inherent in both the inferred resources and recent discovery to the south of the pit.
The upgraded ore reserve forms the basis of review and improved outcomes for the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), which is due to be released shortly.
Highlights of the upgrade include:
- Increase in proven and probable ore reserves to 5.5 MT @ 17.9% TGC.
- 11% increase in Life of Mine grade from 16.1% to 17.9%, representing highest grade reserve in peer group.
- 10% increase in ore reserve tonnes.
- 22% increase in Total Graphitic Content.
- Increased grade delivers greater operational efficiency with a 13% reduction in required throughput while maintaining annual production of 40 000 t of flake graphite
Executive Director, Allan Mulligan comments:
“In the mining industry ‘grade is king’ and we have successfully delivered our objective to validate Lindi Jumbo as the highest-grade graphite project in our peer group.”
“The super-high-grade mill feed means that Lindi Jumbo is an incredibly robust project and positions the company to deliver the largest margins in the industry. This gives Walkabout the ability to take advantage of opportunities for increased market share as well as providing a meaningful downside protection. Our goal continues to be the non-China producer-of-choice for premium large-flake natural graphite.”
“Importantly, we see the potential for further upside in several areas, including the ability to produce and sell more graphite than designed for and also expanding into not-yet utilised high-grade deposits to the south and bringing those to account.”
The additional resource tonnes has resulted in the modelling of a completely new mine-pit design. The orebody outcrops on surface and is well suited to conventional open pit mining, using excavators and trucks for loading and hauling.
The mine design considered only measured and indicated mineral resources and the limit of the mine design was determined through pit optimisation exercises.
The mining operation at Lindi will be outsourced to a contract mining company. Weathered ore and
waste will be excavated using a hydraulic shovel and loaded onto dump trucks for hauling out of the pit to the RoM stockpile or waste dumps.
Where the weathered material requires ripping by dozer before excavating this will require a tracked dozer. Fresh ore and waste will be drilled and blasted before being loaded and hauled in a similar manner.
The waste rock will be used for the construction of the outer wall of the tailings dam and during early Mining and site construction a limited amount of waste will be used as construction material and fill.
Ore will be transported to the RoM pad adjacent to the processing plant in preparation for feeding to the plant. Ore will be placed in specific low and high grade stock pile areas on the RoM pad.
The ore will be fed into the primary crusher using a front end loader. Blending of the ore and feeding of the crusher will be the responsibility of the plant operations personnel.
Waste and ore will be transported from the pit to the waste dump, RoM pad or stockpile with dump
trucks of 30 t capacity. Loading and hauling of waste will be a 12-hour operation of 11 effective
hours. Mining will only be carried out on day shift, to allow effective grade control to be maintained.