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UPDATE - StratMin's April production beats expectations

Graphite producer StratMin says production at its Loharano plant in Madagascar beat expectations in April.
UPDATE - StratMin's April production beats expectations

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Graphite producer StratMin (LON:STGR) says production at its Loharano plant in Madagascar beat expectations in April.

It turned out 107 tonnes of large flake graphite for the short month, against management's expectations of 100 tons.

Notably, the head grade of the ore that was put through the plant had a higher carbon content than had been expected - at 9%.

The firm added it continued to invest in the quality of its output and has hired MarsdenGray as consultants for all aspects of technical development.

Manoli Yannaghas, StratMin's managing director, told investors the production numbers represented a "fantastic" achievement by the operational team in Madagascar.

Speaking to Proactive Investors, he highlighted that it demonstrated the firm was now producing and at the 90% or thereabouts carbon content mark.

He also observed that the 9% head grade figure was "very high" and double what the JORC resource estimates had stated.

"That's very good. For the economics of the business, it's fantastic," he said, explaining it meant spending less on production, although he did add that it would mean some tweaking of the plant would be required to handle this higher grade.

Thirdly, Yannaghas lauded the appointment of Rob Marsden, who brings with him other Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) advisors as colleagues, who each have individual technical areas of expertise, which would be "very good" for StratMin.

Earlier Yannaghas said: "Following Rob's recent visit to the mine, I am confident that we will see continuous product quality improvement."

In the production numbers reported on Tuesday, the firm's best product - the larger flake mesh (+40) - was what it produced most of at 59 tons - and it also had the largest carbon content - at 90.31%.

At the +80 mesh size, 12.5 tons were produced with 88% carbon.

Future production updates will be issued on a quarterly basis, with the first expected at the end of June this year, the company added.

StratMin shares rallied in early deals before easing back. They are trading 4.41% down at 8.125p.

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