Energizer Resources’ standout results; greater than 99.9% ultra-high-purity graphitic carbon on a first-pass purification test
Energizer Resources Inc. (TSX: EGZ | OTCQX: ENZR) is a mineral exploration and development company, focused on developing its flagship Molo flake graphite deposit in southern Madagascar. The Molo deposit, located in the Green Giant Graphite Project, is held 100% within the joint-venture entity with Malagasy Minerals Limited in Madagascar. Energizer has a 75% ownership interest and is the operator of the project.
Late last year, Energizer unveiled an NI-43-101 resource estimate for Molo, which ranks the deposit as one of the largest in the world. With completion of the full feasibility study targeted for the fourth quarter this year, the start-of-mine construction is expected in the third quarter of 2014 and production is anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2015 – at an annual output capacity of 84,000 tonnes.
Earlier this week I had a very interesting and informative meeting at the Energizer head offices in Toronto with Director of Corporate Development, the always-congenial Ron Kerr, and the brilliant SVP of Corporate Development, Brent Nykoliation. The executives provided a detailed overview of the company’s standout results from its monstrously large graphite deposit on the island of Madagascar. First and foremost (and perhaps most impressive) is that Energizer has demonstrated that it can achieve ultra-high-purity of greater than 99.9% graphitic carbon on a first-pass (single-stage hydrometallurgical) purification test. The purification process employed a conventional leach technology and consistently demonstrated outstanding results. All testing was performed by SGS Canada and represents the highest graphitic carbon test value that SGS now issues and certifies. The company’s deposit is situated in an extremely rare and unique geological setting, which has resulted in flake graphite that is proven to be both exceptionally high in purity and quality.
The latest results from the Phase 1 Molo deposit process optimization testing has yielded superior results (meaning larger graphite flake sizes and larger flakes command premium prices), compared to graphite flake-size distributions Energizer previously announced in its Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) released earlier this year, which reported an NPV of $421 million (10% discount rate), an IRR of 48% with a payback of 3 years. The very positive results from the ongoing metallurgical optimization will further improve the economics of the Green Giant Project – enhancing both capex and opex numbers in the PEA.
What is important to note is that the significant gain in flake-size distribution and concentrate grades of the Green Giant graphite was achieved utilizing an optimized circuit that employed only a simple grind and gentle polishing between flotation stages. This resulted in a significant reduction in graphite flake breakage and is considerably simplified as compared to the process on which Energizer based is PEA.
The highlights test results employing an optimized cleaning circuit are as follows:
- 47.6% of the concentrate mass is large and jumbo flake graphite (greater than +80 mesh) at a grade of 96.8% C(t)
- 21.7% of the concentrate mass is jumbo flake graphite (greater than +48 mesh) at a grade of 97.4% C(t)
- 23.5% of the concentrate is medium flake graphite (-80 to +150 mesh) at a grade of 95.6%
- 28.9% of the concentrate is small flake (-150 mesh) at a grade of 95.7% C(t);
- Overall, there was a 44% increase in graphite flakes larger than +100 mesh as compared to the PEA study, and the grade improved to 96.3% C(t) from 94.9% C(t)
- Exceptional increase in the small flake (-200 mesh) size fraction concentrate grade from 82.1% C(t) to 96.0 % C(t)
- The combined concentrate obtained in the test graded 96.2% C(t)
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“These results are very significant because premium prices for graphite are achieved with the highest purity and flake sizes and we’ve just achieved marked increases in both,” explained Energizer’s President and COO, Craig Scherba. “Based on these excellent results, Energizer anticipates that there will be a significant enhancement to the already positive economics of the project presented in our PEA.” The company anticipates the completion of its Bankable Feasibility Study by the end of this year of early 2014.
In other Energizer news, just last week shares in the company started to trade on the prestigious OTCQX exchange, as a means to provide Energizer greater visibility in the US, joining Focus Graphite Inc. (TSXV: FMS | OTCQX: FCSMF), Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. (TSXV: ZEN | OTCQX: ZENYF) and Lomiko Metals Inc. (TSXV: LLMR | OTCQX: LMRMF). The OTCQX is home to more than 370 Canadian, US and global companies, such as Roche, Adidas, VW and Bombardier. That said, Energizer is quite proud to be the only publicly traded graphite company on the TSX.
We can expect to hear another significant announcement from Energizer very soon.
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