Elcora mine has the potential to restore Sri Lanka’s role as a leading supplier of flake graphite
September 8, 2014 — Tracy Weslosky, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher for InvestorIntel interviews Dr. Ian Flint, VP of processing and Refining at Elcora Resources (TSXV: ERA), about the reasons that led him to choose to develop Elcora’s property in Sri Lanka out of all the other graphite projects in the world. Dr. Flint taught engineering at Dalhousie University in Halifax for eleven years during which period he came to know many of the people, managing the Elcora team, many of whom are based in Halifax. Dr. Flint has many years of experience in graphite processing and his appointment is part of the plan to get Elcora in production in the next year. Elcora has revived the Sakura Graphite Ragadara in Sri Lanka, which while already in production ready phase, needs a processing plant to ensure the highest grades possible. The Elcora mine has the potential to restore Sri Lanka’s role as a leading supplier of flake graphite.
Dr. Flint says that now production levels are between one to three tons a day: “the timeline to get into wider scale production are to increase it in increments have 2,500 tons a year, trying to achieve the first increment in the first year and the second or even the third by the second year with an eventual goal of 12,500 tons per year.” As for the reputation of Sri Lankan graphite’s high purity and uniqueness, Dr. Flint explains, in as simple terms as possible, the conditions that have led graphite in Sri Lanka to present itself in veins, noting that the related geological processes continue to this day. Dr. Flint calls it “double distilled”. Sri Lanka has traditionally produced a lot of graphite and there are at least 3,000 abandoned pits.
The old operations would “mine until they couldn’t breathe down there anymore because there’s no ventilation and then just moved to the next thing….so what you got is a lot of mom and pop operations, corporate as they might be, that would go in at about 100 meters and then stop working.” As for the next phase, Dr. Flint says that the processing plant’s design is basically complete. “Essentially it’s crushing grinding and a quick flotation because the available electricity supply is insufficient to allow for greater capacity than that. This means the processing plant will have to be different and it may develop near the port. Elcora’s main advantage is that Sri Lankan graphite, when it comes out of the ground, prior to any processing, comes out as two products, lumps and chips, grading 93-99% graphitic carbon content coming out of the ground. Dr, Flint points out that: “their garbage is grading at over 80%,” which means that the graphite can be sold “as is” when it comes out of the ground. Elcora wanted a project that was in production and that could go directly to the processing phase.
Disclaimer: Elcora Resources is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel.
Get our daily investorintel update
Adrian Nixon is a Senior Editor at InvestorIntel. He began his career as a scientist and is a Chartered Chemist and Member of the Royal ... <Read more about Adrian Nixon>