Sovereign Metals Pre-Feasibility Study for its Malingunde Saprolite-hosted graphite project shows low capital and very low operating costs are at the bottom of the graphite supply cost-curve at a scale appropriate for the current market.
East Africa - Sovereign Metals' 100%-owned Malingunde saprolite-hosted graphite project is a globally significant, coarse flake graphite development.
It represents a high quality potential future mining operation producing premium quality natural graphite products.
The Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) demonstrates extremely low operating and low capital costs providing excellent margins.
The compelling economic estimates can be attributed to the deposit being hosted entirely by soft saprolite material, its high grade at 9.5% TGC and the excellent infrastructure availability.
Soft-saprolite hosted graphite deposits are sought after as they have distinct operating and capital cost advantages over hard-rock deposits.
Currently operating saprolite-hosted flake graphite mines are located in Madagascar, however these are mostly small and low grade.
Malingunde is rare in that it is the world’s largest reported saprolite-hosted flake graphite deposit and also has a high-grade ore reserve at 9.5% TGC.
The PFS shows that Malingunde offers a technically and economically robust, low risk pathway to production of premium quality, coarse flake graphite concentrates.
The significant cost savings, compared to hard-rock peers, are realised by the soft, free dig nature of the mineralisation and low strip ratios, with no requirement for primary crushing or grinding in the processing plant.
Additionally, the project is located just 20 km from Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, which brings with it access to important infrastructure including rail and grid power.
“We believe Malingunde is the world’s best flake graphite project," comments Sovereign Metals MD Dr Julian Stephens.
"The high-grade, soft, free-dig saprolite-hosted ore, requiring no primary crush or grind combined with a simple and proven flow-sheet results in low capital intensity and extremely low operating costs.
"Malingunde is an unparalleled, low technical risk, high margin project that provides significant cash flows with substantial upside scalability into a growing graphite market," he explains.