Tanzania – IMX Resources says that initial metallurgical test work on core from its Chilalo graphite project in Tanzania has yielded excellent results.
In addition to achieving concentrate grades, averaging 95.9% TC, a significant proportion of the mineralisation has been confirmed as high-value jumbo or large flake size, with, on average, over 50% of the mineralisation measuring greater than 180 microns.
The test work was completed on representative samples composited from diamond drill core from holes drilled at regular intervals along the 1 km of strike of the Shimba deposit at Chilalo.
The deposit is characterised by uniform grade and thickness along this strike length. Importantly, these initial results are expected to be enhanced from additional test work currently under way to optimise the recovery, grade and flake size, with significant improvement in the flake size distribution likely.
Results from this next phase of test work are expected in Q2, 2015. These initial results suggest excellent potential for future production, with the concentrate grade and flake size indicating a product that is likely to be at the premium end of the graphite market. Concentrate samples are being prepared for potential off-take partners.
IMX is actively engaging with various parties in Europe, North America and Asia who have expressed interest across various aspects of the project, including product sales, plant design, procurement and construction.
IMX Resources CEO Phil Hoskins says that the initial metallurgical test work results confirm the overall quality of Shimba material and provide strong support for current initiatives that are directed to fast tracking project assessment and development.
“These metallurgical results clearly demonstrate the outstanding characteristics of our Shimba deposit, with a highly attractive flake size distribution, extremely high purity in large and jumbo product, excellent recoveries and the capacity to produce a high-grade concentrate. These results are from initial test work only and with further optimisation work being carried out, we are confident that there will be improvement.”
“IMX is focused on a smaller scale development in the 25 000 tpa to 50 000tpa production range, which we believe has a number of benefits, including a lower capital cost, a rapid timeline to production, an increased ability to raise project finance and the ability to consider alternative mining and processing options.
“These results confirm that a high-grade graphite concentrate using a simple and low-cost processing technique can be achieved and provide a significant boost to our plans to fast-track development. With a maiden Mineral Resource estimate for Shimba expected shortly, these results support our focus on continuing to advance the Chilalo graphite project,” adds Hoskins.
Perth based consultancy BatteryLimits is managing assessment and study work the Chilalo, including the metallurgical test work, process design and engineering.
The recoveries and concentrate grades are high for such an early stage in the metallurgical testwork for graphite using conventional grinding and flotation. These values indicate that a high quality product, at the upper end for graphite deposits, can be produced from Shimba material.
The coarseness of flakes in the final product is critical to achieving the maximum price for the product. The results from this initial test work show a high proportion of the flake in the premium +180 micron (large and jumbo categories) fraction. The coarser, high purity flake is ideally suited to the battery industry which is projected to expand rapidly. Even though the flake distribution is excellent at this stage, ongoing optimisation of the metallurgical process is expected to result in an increase in large and jumbo flake graphite.
The metallurgical test work was conducted on drill core obtained from the Company’s 2014 exploration program, and was carried out by SGS Australia at its Perth laboratory and by ALS Australia at its Brisbane laboratory, under the guidance of process engineering consultancy group, BatteryLimits.
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