Perth -- Perth-based Bass Metals is aiming to significantly increase the resource base at its Graphmada graphite project in Madagascar to underpin plans for a large-scale mining and processing operation.
Graphmada has an existing mineral resource of 3.5mn t grading 4.2pc total graphitic carbon estimated to contain 146,000t of graphite within the Loharano and Mahefedak deposits.
It has identified potential for a major increase in this resource and has set an exploration target for examining the broader Graphmada area beyond the currently delineated mineral resources.
Bass Metals has announced an exploration target of 86mn-146mn t of additional mineral resources likely to contain 4.1mn-8.4mn t of contained graphite. This comprises a target of 13mn-23mn t of soft easy-to-mine saprolitic graphite resources contained 600,000-1.3mn t of graphite and a 73mn-123mn t mineral resource of primary graphite material potentially containing 3.5mn-7.1mn t of graphite.
'To date our focus for operations at Graphmada has been on the establishing of reliable production and key customer relationships in the markets for our large flake graphite products,' chief executive Tim McManus said.
'While we continue to progress current mining and processing operations, Bass now aims to materially increase its inventory to underpin plans for future development of larger scale mining and processing operations.'
Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar have recently become among the world's most attractive destinations for mining companies to explore for and mine graphite to provide alternative sources outside of China.
Syrah Resources is the world's biggest exporter of natural graphite from its Balama project in Mozambique, and other companies are finalising financing arrangements before they begin mining and exporting product to international customers.
Growing demand for graphite is supported by its vital usage characteristics for the making of anodes for electric vehicle and energy storage batteries.