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Tirupati Graphite PLC commences first flake-graphite production at newly constructed Madagascar plant

Published by
Global Mining Review,


Tirupati Graphite plc, a flake-graphite company with primary mining and processing projects in Madagascar and downstream processing projects in India, is pleased has announced the commissioning of a 3000 tpa plant at the Sahamamy project – the first of six planned flake-graphite production plant modules to be built in Madagascar.

This is a major milestone in the company’s development as it rolls out first production and looks to build its operations to an integrated graphite mining, production and processing company.

    Highlights

  • 3000 tpy primary flake graphite capacity commissioned at Sahamamy project, Madagascar
  • Second module of 18 000 tpy in Sahamamy targeted for Q32020
  • High quality flake-graphite being produced at 85% recovery rate, one of the highest in the industry
  • Project close to port of Toamasina with infrastructure connections to international export markets in Europe, North America and Asia
  • Additional 6000 tpy primary flake-graphite capacity at Vatomina project substantially advanced with commissioning targeted early Q3 2019
  • SRK Consultants commissioned for an updated joint CPR for both primary flake-graphite mining and processing projects in Madagascar
  • Orders from benchmark buyers in various user segments secured for the first production, well on way to secure markets for the 9000 tpy capacity

Sahamamy, which has an 8 km2 mining permit area issued for 40 years, a current JORC resource of approximately 13 million t and resource potential of over 15 million t, is located near the Toamasina port of Madagascar. The project, which was acquired in January 2018, has a flake-graphite production target of 21 000 tpy capacity; the initial module of 3000 tpy and a second 18 000 tpy production. Development for the 3000 tpy module commenced early Q3 2018, with commissioning in February and March. Production has been increased and is progressing to rated capacity output. The second 18 000 tpy module is planned for Q3 2020. 

The process has established a product basket of circa 60% jumbo, 30% large and 10% small flakes with 5% variation. A recovery of over 85% graphite from the input raw material has been achieved, one of the highest in the industry. The establishment and commissioning of the plant has demonstrated the company’s ability in various spheres, including:

  1. Sourcing importing commissioning and operating mining equipment fleet and processing plant equipment in Madagascar.
  2. Constructing and commissioning flake-graphite processing plant in record less than 7 months.
  3. Successfully establishing its lean process technology, which provides further leverage and additional information for establishing the follow-on modules.
  4. Its ability to manage in-country activities including importing over 15 containers of plant equipment, spares etc.,
  5. Developing both expat and in-country human resources team for development and production activities.

With several strategic advantages, primarily the quality of the flake-graphite, location and infrastructure connectivity, technology and expertise, the company is set for further development to reach the 81 000 TPA capacity planned by 2021. A marketing and supply chain has already been established with product being sold into Europe, North America and Asia for conventional as well as new applications.

In addition to employing 70 people directly at Sahamamy, the company has continued its community development programme by extending support to the local school; providing of stationary and sports gear, organising football matches, renovating the school building and providing facility for fresh drinking water.

In addition to Sahamamy, progress continues to be made at the company’s Vatomina project, where construction is underway for the first production module of 6000 tpa, which is scheduled for commissioning in Q2 2019. This will be followed by three successive 18 000 tpa modules. Vatomina covers a 25 km2 mining permit issued for 40 years, which is located 70 km from the Toamasina Port and 8 km aerial distance from Sahamamy. The construction and equipment manufacturing for the first module is progressing rigorously, with ancillary buildings and facilities including the engineering centre constructed and contributing to the project development.

Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/exploration-development/28032019/tirupati-graphite-plc-commences-first-flake-graphite-production-at-newly-constructed-madagascar-plant/

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