Tanzania – African graphite developer IMX Resources reports that recent petrographic microscope work conducted on diamond drill core from its high-grade Shimba deposit at Chilalo graphite project has returned encouraging results, with extremely large graphite flakes observed in most core samples examined.
The work was carried out to provide a detailed analysis of ore variability within the Shimba deposit and to enhance the company’s geo-metallurgical understanding of the mineralisation.
The findings demonstrate the presence of high value large and jumbo sized graphite flakes throughout the Shimba deposit providing confidence that a consistently high-value product can be produced from all zones of the deposit.
These flakes measure +5mm (5000 µm) in length, with some reaching up to 1 cm and based on discussions with end users, will be in demand in the high-value expandable graphite market.
In addition, the petrographic work confirmed that the graphite flakes at Shimba are typically clean and free of contaminants, which is believed to be a key contributing factor to the very high concentrate grades of 96.8 – 97.4% achieved from recent metallurgical flotation test work.
CEO Phil Hoskins says the results provide further encouragement for the company’s plans to develop a graphite mining operation at Chilalo. “Our on-going work continues to confirm the consistency in the ore characteristics of the Shimba deposit and gives us a great deal of confidence about the ability to produce high quality concentrate with excellent flake size distribution from Shimba.”
“We are not surprised by the extremely coarse flake identified from the petrographic work. The Shimba deposit is located adjacent to a large anorthositic intrusion and there is evidence from comparative deposits that metamorphism (heating) from nearby igneous intrusions can upgrade and coarsen graphite mineralisation.”
“These results form an important component of the on-going pre-feasibility study for the Chilalo project, which is focused on the development of a mining operation to produce 50 000 t of graphite per year,” Hoskins states.
The PFS is progressing to schedule, targeted for completion in October 2015. A revised Mineral Resource estimate for the Shimba deposit is expected to be finalised in September.
Top Project stories in Tanzania: