Larger sample confirms same high quality end product as previous metallurgical test work.
· Blencowe successfully completes critical metallurgical test work on substantially up-scaled quantities of Orom-Cross composite mix, as per what was previously tested by SGS in Canada.
· Results continue to highlight a high grade, low impurity concentrate can be delivered from Orom-Cross.
· Duplication of bench scale testing results now completed through to bulk sample test stage.
· Test work completed by leading Australian metallurgical test firm IMO.
· Blencowe now has considerably more volume of end product to send to interested end users for testing.
Blencowe Resources Plc (“Blencowe” or the “Company”), is pleased to announce that additional metallurgical test work on its Orom-Cross graphite project in Northern Uganda has been completed by leading technical specialist firm IMO based in Perth, Australia. This work is critical to understanding the quality of the end-product that Orom-Cross can deliver as a high-grade graphite concentrate, as well as what the process flow will look like to achieve this on a pre-commercial scale. It also provides significantly greater quantum of end product for end user testing which is critical for the Definitive Feasibility Study.
Blencowe appointed IMO to undertake metallurgical test work on material gathered from its drilling campaigns which covered both the Northern Syncline and Camp lode areas within Orom-Cross. The program was designed to deliver the following objectives:
1. Confirm a 95-97% TGC (Total Graphite Content) pure concentrate is possible with low impurities (Thorium and Vanadium).
2. Confirm ~90% recovery is achievable for this concentrate.
3. Confirm the liberation process in order to maintain a high percentage of Jumbo/XL/Large flakes within the concentrate.
4. Confirm the process flow diagram for plant design as part of the Definitive Feasibility Study.
5. Deliver bulk concentrate samples to allow Blencowe to initiate discussions with potential off-take partners.
Blencowe is pleased to announce that all 5 objectives have been met or exceeded in this latest round of test work. Open cycle floatation testing produced recoveries between 90-92% and concentrate grades consistently range between 95-98% which are battery grade.
The additional metallurgical test work was commissioned to test the upgradeability of the bench scale test work completed by SGS in Lakefield. A total of 1,400kg was processed (as compared to 100kg within SGS test work) and all metallurgical test-work undertaken to date shows a robust flowsheet capable of repeatable metallurgy for a wide range of feed samples from Orom-Cross.
A total of eight rougher and cleaner flotation tests were carried out on the Master composite that culminated in the flowsheet that is atypical of similar graphite projects. The flowsheet consists of a flash and rougher flotation stage followed by a primary cleaning circuit with a polishing mill followed by three stages of cleaner flotation. The intermediate concentrate is classified and then further upgraded in secondary cleaning circuits with stirred media mills (SMM) followed by cleaner flotation.
The proposed flowsheet was employed in a continuous pilot operation to determine the metallurgical response under typical operating conditions. The final concentrate graded 96.4% C(t) at 90.6% total carbon recovery which exceeded the company’s expectations and places the end product recovered at the higher end of the spectrum in comparison to its peers.
Test work was focussed on the 5 points above and not geared towards optimising the flake size fractions. As the resultant splits using an unoptimised circuit are within 5% of the fractions as determined by the original SGS bench scale works there may be further incremental value to be added by optimising ahead. The key takeaway from these results is that the scaling factors in the metallurgical testing will likely replicate the original test work and results through to commercial scale production.
At the end of this larger scale metallurgical program, approximately 80kg of concentrate was produced (versus 5-8kgs from SGS in Canada) which will be forwarded to potential end-users and project partners for additional test work on screening splits and grade analysis, as well as suitability for further downstream processing of the concentrate.
The design of the processing plant will be based on both the SGS and IMO test-work and best practice in similar operations. Importantly, the process requires no primary crushing or grinding of the ore, thus preserving the larger flake sizes, which is a material advantage over hard-rock graphite deposits.
Executive Chairman Cameron Pearce commented:
“We are delighted with these IMO met test results as they not only continue to underpin Orom-Cross concentrate as high quality in all key areas relevant to end users but the test work has highlighted that we can now deliver these end results on a much greater scale of raw material as processed. This is a key steps towards commercial stage production testing in a pilot plant facility. It also highlights the potential to increase the percentage of the more valuable coarse flake products through further optimisation of the processing circuits and this will be considered in the next round of testing.
This latest set of results sets us up nicely for the bulk sample trial we will be conducting on 100 tonnes of Orom-Cross composite in 1H 2023 and if these same results are produced from that exercise we will be largely pre-qualified in terms of end products delivered as concentrate.”
For further information please contact:
Blencowe Resources Plc
Tel: +44 (0)1624 681 250
Tel: +44 (0) 7891 677 441
Tel: +44 (0)20 3192 1733
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 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 Definitive Feasibility Study 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 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.