Blencowe Resources (“Blencowe” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that is has engaged with one of the leading worldwide consultancy firms specifically relating to life cycle sustainability and ESG (environmental, social and governance) credentials. ERM has led the way in this field globally for some time and their involvement with Blencowe will greatly assist both the Company and its two resource projects deliver a more sustainable pathway into the future.
ERM have been engaged to consider all aspects in this regard and to map out a series of initiatives that will put Blencowe at the front end of the market in terms of delivering green graphite products. As the world moves towards decarbonisation, electric vehicles (EVs) and clean energy technologies offer a path towards a more sustainable future, however these technologies are mineral intensive and the efficient production of these minerals will play a key role in the clean energy transition. Graphite is the primary anode material and the single largest component of lithium-ion batteries and as such it has an important role within this drive towards sustainability, both in terms of what the end product is used for as well as how it is produced. Green graphite may be described as graphite that is delivered with a low environmental footprint, including energy efficient production.
It is not enough that one of the principal uses of graphite moving forward will be within the lithium-ion battery that power EVs, and which ultimately will greatly reduce the number of fossil fuel-driven vehicles; it is also important to produce that graphite within a mining and processing environment that is life cycle sustainable and delivers as low emissions as possible.
Blencowe believes that delivery of green graphite will increase the demand for its products as end users are all coming under increasing pressure to audit their supply chains more closely to ensure the products they use are delivered by companies with strong ESG credentials. Furthermore, Blencowe believes its Orom-Cross graphite project will be more likely to attract investors to finance production if it has these properties. As a result the Company has engaged ERM to work with it to deliver a range of policies, targets and initiatives to ultimately deliver green graphite.
Some of the key messages Blencowe will underline within this programme include:
· Publicly acknowledge global ESG initiatives and develop policies to ensure the Company is managing its projects (and ultimately operations) to the required standards.
· Put policies in place within Blencowe to consider key areas such as climate control, supply chain responsibility, human rights, indigenous engagement, risk management and cultural awareness.
· Actively supporting social responsibility within the local and regional communities.
· Ensure governance is managed to highest possible standards
· Continue to place environmental impact at the forefront of strategic development initiatives.
All of these focal points will be considered in day to day activities as well as the various feasibility studies that Blencowe is preparing in order to take Orom-Cross graphite project into production next year. As practical examples the Company is already considering options to replace diesel generated power at the mining operation with solar farms, with use of hydro-electric power off the national grid as backup. Electric drying of product through the processing facility will also be considered, plus dry tailings to improve the environmental footprint as well as the most energy efficient logistics solution to move end-product to market.
Legal Agreements are already in place providing the local community with compensation payments for use of their land, and this is already making a huge difference to their farming operations. An ongoing Educational Trust is in place which is giving local community students the opportunity for further education opportunities that would not have been available prior, and this will continue and grow moving forward.
Blencowe will ensure that all of this is done within the delivery of a commercially viable operation as that remains the ultimate goal, but the Company believes both profitability and sustainability can and should be delivered together.
Executive Chairman Cameron Pearce commented:
“We acknowledge that the world is changing fast and ESG awareness is more prominent that ever before. We believe we should do more than lip service in this regard, to play our role within this climate change revolution by constantly improving our environmental efficiency as well as building our social and governance credentials. By bringing in one of the leading sustainability consultancy firms in the world to advise us we are underlining our commitment within this key area. Green graphite is the way forward and we will target delivery of some of the cleanest end-products when we commence our graphite operation at Orom-Cross from 2023.”
For further information please contact:
Blencowe Resources Plc
Tel: +44 (0)1624 681 250
Tel: +44 (0) 7891 677 441
Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 5100
First Equity Limited
Tel: +44(0)20 7330 1833
Orom-Cross Graphite Project
Orom-Cross is a potential world class graphite project both by size and end-product quality, with a high component of more valuable larger coarse flakes within the deposit. A 21-year Mining Licence for the project was issued by the Ugandan Government in 2019 following extensive historical work on the deposit and Blencowe is moving through the Feasibility Study phase as it drives towards first production targeted for 2023.
Orom-Cross presents as a large, shallow open-pitable deposit, with a maiden JORC Indicated & Inferred Mineral Resource deposit of 24.5Mt @ 6.0% Total Graphite Content. Development of the resource is expected to benefit from a low strip ratio and free dig operations, thereby ensuring lower operating and capital costs.
Akelikongo Nickel Project
Akelikongo is a highly prospective nickel sulphide exploration project that has previously had considerable work completed by Rio Tinto and Sipa to establish three mineralised lenses to date. It represents an opportunity for Blencowe to add further value through a targeted work programme that will seek to delineate higher grade and thicker intercepts of nickel.
Nickel sulphide deposits are rare and valuable and the prospect of further exploration success gives Blencowe suitable incentive to develop this asset under a structured earn-in agreement, whereby 100% of the asset can ultimately be acquired for US$1.5m, 100% payable in shares.