Importantly, increased grade of final concentrates has been achieved with minimal deterioration in flake size, highlighting the simplicity and flexibility of the Malingunde process flow sheet.
Furthermore, 71% of the final graphite concentrate exceeds 149 micrometres in size, including 28% of +297 micrometre jumbo flake and 9% of +500 micrometre super jumbo flake.
The exceptional purity and flake size distribution highlights the potential for premium pricing and entry into traditional industrial and emerging lithium-ion battery markets.
When coupled with the inherent low capex and low opex nature of soft saprolite operations, these results enhance the potential for best in class operating margins at Malingunde.
The recent test-work was conducted on several composite samples of diamond drill cores obtained from the 2016 drilling program which included:
- 34 metres at 12.0% TGC (total graphitic carbon);
- 16.3 metres at 11.4% TGC including 3 metres at 23.6% TGC; and
- 23 metres at 16.3% TGC including 13 metres at 20.3% TGC.
The test-work forms part of a larger program that will be used as the basis for the current scoping study.
Sovereign is expected to deliver the maiden JORC resource estimate for Malingunde in the coming weeks.
The company’s shares were last trading 4.17% higher intra-day, at $0.075.