Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) has completed pilot plant test works in China which have validated the optimised design flow sheet and concentrate properties for the Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.
This work involved processing 18.5 million dry tonnes of ore in a dedicated pilot plant facility in China operated by Black Rock's EPC partner Yantai Jinyuan Mining Machinery.
Tests showed that the preliminary performance of recovery, grade and flake size is consistent with recent laboratory and definitive feasibility study (DFS) results.
The ore milled in the tests is characterised as Ulanzi oxide ores from Black Rock's 2018 bulk sampling program with pilot plant operations targeting production of the premium range of products.
Pilot plant operations were attended by Chinese, Korean and Japanese offtake and potential investment partners.
Black Rock's chief executive officer John de Vries said: “Our second round of substantial pilot plant test works is the best way to attract finance by further de-risking the project.
“This pilot plant has also given us an opportunity to differentiate and demonstrate the uniqueness of Mahenge brand graphite in front of key off-takers and potential investors.
“The demonstration of our capacity to produce our premium branded product through a simple and repeatable process without the need for chemical intervention establishes Mahenge as one of the world’s leading premium flake graphite concentrates.
“The pilot plant will deliver improvements on our DFS flow sheet by incorporating the experience and IP of Yantai Jinyuan and once all the plant data is fully processed, we will be able to proceed with contract establishment with Yantai Jinyuan for supply of plant and engineering services.”
Tests at the dedicated facility in Laiyang province, China.
Large flake (plus 100 mesh) concentrate will be made available to off-takers as part of the company’s validation process.
All sub 100 mesh flake will be processed for battery anode precursor in dedicated facilities to establish spheronising plant performance metrics and to provide increased volumes of material for independent battery performance testing.
Data from this work will be available in late May.