Blencowe Resources Plc (“Blencowe Resources” or the “Company”) (LSE: BRES) is pleased to announce and update on all activities for 2022 as it seeks to drive its flagship Orom-Cross Graphite Project towards first production in 2023.
- Revised, upgraded JORC Standard Resource imminent
- Further metallurgical test work underway with SGS in Canada
- Initial Sales and Marketing Strategy being finalised
- Commencement of Pre-Feasibility Study
- Blencowe appoints experienced Project Manager to lead development of Orom-Cross Project in Uganda
JORC Standard Resource
A successful diamond drilling programme was completed in 2H 2021 and all assays have been completed; the Company’s technical partner Minrom is now working through a revised JORC Standard Resource which is expected for completion in the next month.
This programme was designed to infill the initial 2020 drilling programme and provide information for initial mine designs. It is also expected to provide additional tonnes to the 16Mt already contained within the JORC Resource (Phase One) as well as deliver a higher overall in situ grade, as the high grade Camp Lode will be included for the first time.
This JORC Resource will provide enough tonnes for the first 15 years life of mine at expected mining levels, and no further drilling is therefore required prior to first production.
Blencowe notes that less than half of one percent of the overall deposit has been drilled to date, therefore the opportunity exists to substantially increase both production tonnes and life of mine via further drilling ahead once the market starts the exponential growth as forecast, to deliver considerably more tonnes of graphite for lithium-ion batteries than is currently demanded worldwide.
Stage Three Metallurgical Test Work
Samples from the 2H 2021 drill program were sent to SGS Lakeside in Toronto, Canada in 4Q 2021 and work has commenced on Stage Three metallurgical test work. This work is expected to take around 60 days to provide final results, with the expectation that Blencowe will obtain final fact sheets for all its products as expected to be sold ahead.
This work will cover all additional properties not completed in the Stage Two (2021) metallurgical test programme, which was very successful and delivered an overall composite product of 97.3% TGC (Total Graphite Content) which is considerably higher than the entry level 94% required for battery grade graphite concentrate. It also provided a +90% recovery rate which is high.
It will also provide critical information on impurities and other key indicators for sales and marketing. Once completed the Company expects to work closely with its experienced Sales and Marketing advisor to identify potential offtake partners, and provide these parties with samples so the pre-qualification of end product process can start.
Sales and Marketing Strategy
The Company has been working closely with its experienced Sales and Marketing advisor, Lone Star (USA) to deliver a sales and Marketing strategy for 2022, to ultimately provide a channel for sales of graphite ahead.
Graphite is typically sold directly to end users and it is therefore important to understand the full properties of the end products prior to releasing samples to potential offtake partners for testing. Thereafter it is expected those partners will require longer term delivery of some graphite products over a longer period to pre-qualify Orom-Cross products for consistency, and thus the Company expects to deliver a pilot plant in 2023 that will provide smaller quantities of graphite into these sales channels over a period of 18-24 months prior to the main production plant being commission in 2025.
Appointment of Country General Manager
Blencowe is pleased to note the appointment of an experienced Project Manager, Mr Nabil Alam, as its Country General Manager (Uganda) from January 2022. Mr Alam is a Civil Engineer with considerable experience in delivering major projects into production and he has worked on major projects through EPC phase all over the world, including Europe, Africa and the Middle East, from his base in the UK. He has now returned to live in Uganda. His most recent project was leading the construction of a sugar co-generation plant as part of a large-scale steel project.
Mr Nabil will lead all Blencowe operations on the ground and will work closely with the Company’s senior executives to bring Orom-Cross towards first production, expected in 2023. He has lived and worked in Uganda and therefore has deep understanding of the country and his contribution will be important to bringing the project towards delivery of first graphite ahead.
Cameron Pearce, Blencowe’s Executive Chairman commented;
“There is an enormous quantum of work underway in all areas related to the Orom-Cross Project and our team is progressing well in every aspect, continuing to value-add to this exceptional graphite project as we drive towards first production next year.
We expect considerable news flow from all these areas as noted above during the first quarter of 2022 and all indications suggest we will continue to show that this is robust graphite project in amongst global peers.
We are especially delighted to welcome Nabil Alam into Blencowe and his experience and expertise will be vital to our success moving forward, driving operations in country as we prepare infrastructure and other areas within Orom-Cross towards first production over the medium term.”
For further information please contact:
Blencowe Resources Plc
Tel: +44 (0)1624 681 250
Tel: +44 (0) 7891 677 441
Tavira Securities Limited
Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 5100
First Equity Limited
Tel: +44(0) 203 192 1733
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 into the studies phase shortly as it drives towards first production.
Orom-Cross presents as a large, shallow open-pitable deposit, with a maiden JORC Indicated & Inferred Mineral Resource deposit of 16.3Mt @ 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.