ONTARIO – Northern Graphite announced that it is considering increasing annual concentrate production by at least 20% at its Bissett Creek graphite project between Ottawa and North Bay. This would mean integrating an initial production rate of approximately 25,000 t/y into its development plans.
Following an analysis performed by G Mining Services, Northern Graphite concluded that such an output hike can be achieved with a modest 6% rise in capital costs for the first phase of development.
In a press release, the miner explained that higher production would also reduce unit operating costs and is expected to have a positive effect on the project’s net present value and internal rate of return.
“Resources at Bissett Creek have been more than doubled and upgraded and currently stand at 69.8 million tonnes of measured and indicated resources grading 1.74% graphitic carbon and 24 million tonnes of inferred resources grading 1.65%.”
“The Bissett Creek project already has attractive economics at current prices and they will be further enhanced by the higher production level. We do not believe this will significantly increase the risk associated with introducing new supply into the market. Most graphite deposits contain large resources but production must be ‘right sized’ for target markets as some large, low margin segments are currently unattractive to western producers,” the firm’s CEO, Gregory Bowes, said in the media brief.
According to Bowes, Northern’s strategy is to focus on higher value industrial markets, mainly in the US and Europe. He said that such markets require large and extra-large flake graphite, which can be provided by his company given that the deposit has a very high percentage of these grades.
The executive also explained that the first phase of development, for which a NI 43-101 feasibility study was already filed, contemplated producing 20,800 tonnes of graphite concentrate per year with a capital cost of $101.6 million. Phase 2, on the other hand, involves a future doubling of production, based on measured and indicated resources only, to meet what the company foresees as expected growth in graphite demand.
This story first appeared on www.Mining.com.