Modern Mining December 2017


Battery Minerals prepares for Montepuez development sible, Battery Minerals has also initiated an extensive recruitment campaign. This will be aimed at identifying key development and technical personnel for roles in Perth and Mozambique.

from investors,” he continued. “As the Value Engineering Study showed, Montepuez will generate out- standing returns, including low quartile operating costs of US$337/t and a payback period of less than two years.” Battery Minerals is completing detailed grade control drilling to underpin daily mining plans ahead of the grant of the mining licence, expected shortly. Final approvals are due in the March quarter of 2018 to facilitate the scheduled start of construction in April 2018. The company says it remains on track to commence mine commissioning in the December quarter of 2018 with first graph- ite concentrate exports scheduled for the March quarter of 2019.  The SMB-Winning consortium is to launch feasibility studies early in 2018 for the con- struction of an alumina refinery in Guinea as well as a railway to open up the Boffa corridor and to carry bauxite to the refin- ery and the Dapilon river port in the Boké region. The total investment planned for the whole project is estimated at US$3 billion. The construction phase – planned to start in 2019 – will create 10 000 jobs. Completion is expected by 2022. Founded in 2014, the SMB-Winning con- sortium brings together three partners in the fields of bauxite mining, production and transportation: Singaporean shipping company Winning Shipping Ltd; UMS, a French-owned transport and logistics com- pany that has been present in Guinea for over 20 years; and Shandong Weiqiao, a leading Chinese company in aluminumproduction.  Railway and refinery planned for Guinea

ASX-listed Battery Minerals reports it has taken a series of key steps in preparation for the development of its Montepuez graphite project in northern Mozambique, ensuring the project is on track for produc- tion late next year (2018). The first phase of the project is designed to produce 45 000 to 50 000 t/a of graphite concentrate at a grade mined (TGC) of 12 %. The company has placed an order for a new primary crusher, which is already under construction and expected to arrive on site in March 2018. The primary crusher has a capacity of more than twice Montepuez’s requirements, giving it ample ability to meet the company’s needs for the planned expansion in 2020. According to Battery Minerals, it will be delivered at a significant discount to quotes received as part of the Value Engineering Study com- pleted in November 2017. Battery Minerals has also appointed highly experienced lead design engi- neers DRA and Minnovo to complete the detailed design work on the process plant for Montepuez. To help ensure the development of Montepuez can proceed as quickly as pos- South32 has approved the Klipspruit Life Extension project (KPSX) at South Africa Energy Coal. Development activity is expected to commence in the current quarter with first coal expected from the open-cut operation in FY19. Graham Kerr, South32’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Approval of the R4,3 bil- lion Klipspruit Life Extension project will secure the future of the colliery for at least

The Montepuez project development preparations follow the completion of Battery Minerals’ highly successful capital raising in November 2017, in which the company raised A$20 million in a heavily over-subscribed share placement. Battery Minerals Executive Chairman David Flanagan said the demand for the capital raising reflected the financial strengths of Montepuez. “We have now secured a primary crusher with capacity of more than twice Montepuez’ require- ments, and sufficient for our planned expansion, but with no increase in fore- cast operating costs,” he said. “The lower than expected cost of the crusher augurs well for the company’s ability to build the project within the budget estimated in the Value Engineering Study “The low capital cost of just US$42,3 million and the short lead time of just 13 months to production has seen the com- pany and the project win strong support another 20 years, ensure employment for 740 people and create 4 000 jobs during construction. “The investment is expected to gen- erate an internal rate of return (IRR) on investment of more than 20 % by unlock- ing 616 Mt of resource at the Klipspruit South and Weltevreden deposits, and fulfilling around half of our current rail obli- gations with Transnet.” 

South32 approves Klipspruit project

December 2017  MODERN MINING  13

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