Next Graphite, an exploration and development stage company, recently announced it has extracted a 25-tonne bulk sample from one of three existing adits on the company’s Aukam property in the //Karas Region. The 25-tonne bulk sampling and then testing is a condition of Next Graphite’s joint venture agreement with Micron Investments signed on July 21.
Micron has committed capital to build an onsite graphite processing facility and continue to explore, sample and grade additional underground graphite veins on the company’s Aukam property.
As announced in May this year, geologists at Next Graphite continued exploring the company’s three underground adits, which were mined periodically between 1940 and 1974, and recorded a total of 2 674 tonnes of lump graphite.
After 1974, the mine was closed due to an adit fire. Next Graphite purchased the property from a local owner in 2014 and has to date invested approximately US$2 million in operations and new geology studies, and to maintain its US public market listing. The lump graphite extracted during the bulk-sampling programme will be tested for quality and purity. The testing is expected to further define the characteristics of the material and its suitability for manufacturing applications. During a previous bulk sampling and testing programme, an average head grade of 42.5 percent was realized. The company also determined, through flotation tests, that it was able to upgrade the lump graphite to about 96 percent consecutively across all samples.
“Vein graphite is in high demand in the market and our Aukam graphite project is one of the few lump graphite projects in the world,” said Cliff Bream, CEO of Next Graphite.
“We have been meticulous in our sampling, testing and grading process to ensure we have all the approvals and certifications to offer our graphite to the market at the best price possible. Our cost-structure to process graphite in Namibia, combined with the fact that our mine still provides access to graphite vein lodes, is a tremendous benefit for our company, shareholders and future customers who require high-quality vein graphite for battery systems and consumer products. The financing commitment by Micron Investments and their geologist team provides an additional validation of our asset and the capital to begin processing in the near term,” Bream said.