Battery Minerals Limited (ASX: BAT) says it is on the way to becoming a graphite supplier to the lithium battery market with the start of infill drilling at its Montepuez project in Mozambique.
The drilling programme will comprise approximately 300 holes for 10,000 metres and focus on the Buffalo and Elephant deposits and adjacent high-grade resource targets.
The infill drilling will take place in parallel with a host of project planning measures, including engineering and procurement and approvals, which are expected to be secured by April next year.
The company says this will put Montepuez on track for commissioning in the December quarter of next year.
The window of opportunity is wide open for graphite producers thanks to the booming lithium battery market and we are determined to climb through it as soon as possible,” Battery Minerals Executive Chairman David Flanagan said.
“We have an outstanding resource, we have established that the metallurgy is ideal for producing lithium batteries and our revised development strategy shows we stand to generate strong financial returns from what will be a high-grade, low-cost operation.”
Figure 1. Location plan of Buffalo Pit mine design with selected drill hole results.
The Montepuez Graphite Project’s Buffalo deposit recently disclosed drill intersection results included:
- Twin hole BF034D (with BF029D) returned a combined intersection of 272.6 metres at 9.88% Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC) from surface for hole BF029-34D
- Hole BF026D returned 196 metres at 8.41% TGC from 165 metres including:
– 18.2 metres at 18.11% TGC from 238.8 metres, and
– 42m at 13.47% TGC from 295 metres
- Hole BF033D returned 131.5 metres at 8.04% TGC from 1.5 metres, and
- Hole CESWS002 returned 32 metres at 9.30 TGC from 42 metres
On completing the current drilling programme, the company’s production team will prepare excavation plans to support mining and construction activity next year. Drilling will also define near surface waste material within the open pit footprint for use as part of construction activities.
Mr Flanagan said the company remains focused on getting mining tenure granted, receiving all approvals and commencing construction post wet season in April 2018 and to start commissioning in December 2018 with first exports in the March Quarter 2019.