Tirupati Graphite, the flake-graphite company with primary mining and processing projects in Madagascar and downstream processing projects in India, has announced the commissioning of a 3,000 tpa plant at the Sahamamy Project.

This the first of six planned flake-graphite production plant modules to be built in Madagascar. This is a major milestone in the Tirupati Graphite’s development as it rolls out first production and looks to build its operations to an integrated graphite mining, production and processing company.

This is a major milestone in the Tirupati Graphite’s development as it rolls out first production and looks to build its operations to an integrated graphite mining, production and processing company.

Sahamamy, which has a c.8 km2 mining permit area issued for 40 years and a current JORC resource of c. 13 million tons and additionally resource potential exceeding 15 million tons, is located near the Toamasina port of Madagascar providing excellent routes to market. 

The project has a flake-graphite production target of 21,000 tpa capacity; the initial module of 3,000 tpa and a second 18,000 tpa production. Development for the 3,000 tpa module commenced early Q3 2018 with commissioning in February/March. 

Production is now being ramped up and progressing to rated capacity output.  The second 18,000 tpa module is planned for Q3 2020.
 
The process has established a product basket of circa 60% jumbo, 30% large and 10% small flakes with ± 5% variation.  A recovery of over 85% graphite from the input raw material has been achieved, one of the highest in the industry.

Potential and opportunities

With several strategic advantages, primarily the quality of the flake-graphite, location and infrastructure connectivity, technology and expertise, Tirupati Graphite is set for further development to reach the 81,000 TPA capacity planned by 2021.

Marketing/supply chain has already been established with product being sold into Europe, North America and Asia for conventional as well as new applications.  Training of human resources has progressed to adapt to the modern technologies used by the Company.

In addition to employing 70 people directly at Sahamamy, Tirupati Graphite has furthered its community development programme by extending support to the local school – providing of stationary and sports gear, organising football matches, renovating the school building and providing a facility for fresh drinking water.  
 
Shishir Poddar, Tirupati Graphite Managing Director, said: “This is another milestone achievement with our first production at Sahamamy of high-quality flake, which we are already delivering to the international markets.

  We have achieved this in an extremely short period at industry lowest capex and believe that this proves we have the team and ability to execute our growth strategy of building a fully integrated graphite and graphene production company. 
 
“Sahamamy is a first step in building on long term sustainable flake-graphite operations in Madagascar.  The plant is modular and with progress being made at Vatomina, our second project, we envisage that we will be producing in excess of 9,000 tpa rate H2 2019. "

"In tandem with plant development, we will continue to confirm up more resource across the mining concessions and expand our marketing efforts,” he concluded.