Energizer Resources Inc. (“Energizer” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce further positive results from ongoing metallurgical optimization tests from the Company’s flagship Molo flake graphite deposit (“the Molo”) in Madagascar.
In addition to having achieved an ultra-high purity of greater than 99.9% graphitic carbon on a first-pass purification test, latest results from the Phase 1 Molo process optimization testing at SGS Canada Inc. (“SGS”) has yielded superior results as compared to the graphite flake size distributions previously reported in the Company’s Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) Study released in February 2013.
These positive results from the ongoing metallurgical optimization tests will further improve the economics of the Molo graphite project, since larger graphite flake sizes command premium selling prices.
The highlights of the open circuit cleaner test results using 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);
Processing Considerably Simplified
The significant gain in the flake-size distribution and concentrate grades of the Molo graphite deposit was achieved as a result of the SGS test protocol utilizing an optimized circuit that employed only a simple grind and gentle polishing between flotation stages. This process resulted in significantly minimizing graphite flake breakage and is considerably simplified as compared to the process on which the Company’s PEA Study was based.
This open circuit cleaner test will be immediately followed up with a locked cycle flotation test, which simulates the continuous operation of a circuit under laboratory scale conditions.
Substantive Reductions Expected in CAPEX and OPEX
Craig Scherba, President and COO, stated, “These results are very significant because premium prices for graphite are achieved with the highest purity and flake sizes, and Energizer has just achieved marked increases in both. 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 Study.”
Molo Well Positioned for Key Demand Markets
The Molo Graphite property is situated in an extremely rare and unique geological setting that has resulted in the flake graphite being very high in both purity and quality. The ability for Energizer to produce a natural flake graphite product with the highest purities possible, with markedly enhanced graphite flake sizes and using low-cost, standard processing techniques will allow Energizer to target all markets utilizing value-added graphite applications.
According to industry experts, flake graphite is the most desired form of natural graphite because only natural flake graphite has all the necessary attributes and material properties that allow it to be used across all end-use applications where natural graphite can be used. The general rule is: the larger the flake size and the higher the purity, the higher the selling price.
The three largest demand markets for high-purity natural flake graphite today, and going forward, are:
- Refractories; acts as a protective insulator from high temperature and corrosive environments
- Battery and energy storage; a critical component in alkaline, lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells and vanadium redox flow batteries
- Specialty graphite foils; essential as a heat sink and sealant in all portable electronics, smartphones, flat panel televisions and computer monitors
Natural flake graphite is the choice for many refractory applications owing to its particle shape and size. Neither synthetic nor amorphous graphite can be used to produce graphite foils, which are a main component in fuel cells, smart phones, consumer electronics, solar panels, laptops, all flat panel televisions and computer monitors. Flake graphite is the only form of natural graphite that competes directly with synthetic graphite in producing battery anode material.
About SGS Metallurgical Services (Lakefield)
SGS Canada Inc. (“SGS”) is recognized as a world leader in the development of process flow sheets and pilot plant testing programs. SGS’ Metallurgical Services division was founded over half a century ago. Its metallurgists, hydro-metallurgists and chemical engineers are experienced in all the major physical and chemical separation processes utilized in the recovery of metals and minerals contained in resource properties around the world.
The technical information presented in this press release has been reviewed by Oliver Peters, M.Sc., MBA, P.Eng. (Ontario), Principal Metallurgist and President of Metpro Management Inc. and a Qualified Person under NI 43-101.