Northern Graphite (TSXV: NGC) announced that ongoing metallurgical testing confirmed that it is possible to produce a high percentage of valuable, large flake concentrates from its Bissett Creek deposit in Ontario.
According to the Ottawa-based company, recent tests have averaged 22% +32 mesh (XXL) flake and 46% +48 mesh (XL) flake. Cumulatively, 95% of concentrates produced are expected to be greater than 80 mesh which is the cut-off for large flakes.
“All figures are believed to be the highest large flake yields reported from any worldwide graphite project,” the miner said in a media statement.
“Few deposits contain any appreciable amounts of XXL flake material. As a result, the market is undersupplied and prices exceed $2,000/tonne. Currently, XL flake graphite sells for approximately $1,750/tonne, large flake for $1,020/tonne and small flake for only $600/tonne. The company expects that its concentrates will sell for a weighted average price of $1,600/tonne in the current market.”
In the brief, Northern Graphite said larger flake sizes are used in high-value, high-margin industrial markets, including the manufacture of bipolar plates for fuel cells and vanadium redox batteries, as well as primary batteries, thermal management in consumer electronics, fire retardants, insulation products, ceramics, lubricants and many other applications.
The Bissett Creek mining leases and surrounding claims are located between Ottawa and North Bay.
Northern said that it intends to develop the project in two phases. Phase 1 consists of an open-pit mine and a 3,000tpd processing plant with conventional crushing, grinding and flotation circuits producing over 20,000tpy of concentrate. Phase 2 consists of doubling production after three years of operations.