NextSource to reach full production at Molo graphite mine by July

Construction of the Molo graphite mine in Madagascar was completed in February 2023. (Image courtesy of NextSource Materials.)

NextSource Materials (TSX: NEXT)(OTCQB:NSRCF) said on Monday it planned to achieve nameplate capacity of 17,000 tonnes of concentrate per annum at its Molo graphite mine in Madagascar by July.

Since announcing first graphite production in June 2023, the Canadian miner has progressed through debottlenecking and optimization activities to achieve full capacity at the mine’s plant.

The date is a bit later than originally planned due to the identification and rectification of underperforming equipment in the screening circuit, the Toronto-based company said.

The installation of the replacement equipment is expected to be concluded in April and ramp-up will continue until June, NextSource said. 

The company said it now expects its first commercial shipment and sale of SuperFlake graphite concentrate under offtake agreements starting in June. SuperFlake is the registered trademark for the company’s graphite concentrate, which can achieve 98% carbon purity across all flake size distributions with simple flotation alone. It can also be upgraded to 99.97% battery grade purity.

The battery materials developer has achieved SuperFlake concentrate of more than 95% and it is being stockpiled at a third-party warehouse for shipment as a qualifying material to prospective customers.

NextSource said that once Molo reaches its first phase’s full capacity, it will work on a potential expansion. This second phase would boost the mine’s output to 150,000 tonnes of SuperFlake graphite concentrate per year.

NextSource said its aim is to become a vertically integrated global supplier of graphite anode material with plans to construct, in stages, multiple battery anode facilities (BAFs) capable of producing CSPG at commercial scale in key jurisdictions.