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Brand Comms CEO Alan Green catches up once again with Blencowe Resources #BRES CEO Mike Ralston.
Mike provides a background on the latest developments at the company’s 100% owned Orom Cross Graphite project in Uganda. We look at the preliminary assay metallurgy test results, before Mike updates on the fully funded Phase 2 drilling campaign.
Mike looks at how the growth in the lithium ion battery and EV market is driving demand for graphite, before providing investors with a milestone route map for the next few months.
Talking about joining markets, there has been a lot of chatter in the market about Blencowe Resources, which relisted on AIM in April at 6p and peaked at around 9p earlier this week, before succumbing to a bout of profit-taking.
Following a £2million fundraise and the reverse takeover of Consolidated African Resources, Blencowe now owns the Orom Graphite Project in northern Uganda, a development that has clearly resonated with investors.
Graphite is a core material used in batteries that power electric vehicles, laptops and phones and is an often-overlooked element in the energy storage revolution.
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Following a review and remodelling of geophysical survey program data acquired earlier this year, as well as historical pitting and drill results, a highly prospective High-Grade Zone has now been outlined approximately 250m from the current exploration camp site.
The identification of this new High-Grade Zone, which is also in close proximity to the intended plant location, has the potential to lower operating costs as well as deliver additional economic benefits for the overall project.
Following the lifting of travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19, the Company is mobilising drill teams to site this week to recommence the previously outlined broader drilling program. It has now authorised the redirection of a drill rig to test the zone with a single drill hole. This hole is subsequently expected to be completed within the next 10 days and will be reported on in due course along with additional drilling results.
Executive Chairman Cameron Pearce commented;
“Blencowe is looking at all ways possible to continuously add value to the Orom-Cross Project and the identification of this High-Grade Zone near to infrastructure is further indication of this. We will complete initial confirmatory drilling on this first hole shortly and if the results are positive we will consider how best to include this zone into the overall JORC Resource program that is underway.”
For further information please contact:
Blencowe Resources Plc
Cameron Pearce / Sam Quinn
Tel: +44 (0)1624 681 250
Brandon Hill Capital Limited
Jonathan Evans (Corporate Finance)
Tel: +44 (0)20 3463 5000
Orom-Cross is a potential world class graphite project both by size and end-product quality, with a high component of larger flakes identified from previous work performed. A 21-year Mining Licence was issued by the Ugandan Government in 2019 following extensive historical work on the deposit.
Orom-Cross presents as a large, shallow open pitable deposit, with an estimated resource in excess of 3 billion tonnes of graphite. Development of the resource is expected to benefit from a low strip ratio and free dig operations, thereby ensuring lower operating and capital costs.
Graphite is not particularly high profile as a mining commodity, but it is a naturally occurring form of crystalline carbon. It has many uses today, but key to its importance is that graphite makes up approximately half the weight of a lithium-ion battery, used extensively for powering electric vehicles (EV) and storing renewable energy around the globe.
Every EV currently contains between 30-50kgs of graphite within its lithium-ion battery, and like all batteries, from time to time they need replacing. Most auto manufacturers around the world have thrown down markers and timelines to replace current diesel and petrol vehicles with electric versions, and although the pace of change around the EV revolution hasn’t swept all before it as dramatically as was initially predicted, the burgeoning levels of investment into battery production and EV production suggests that demand for the core minerals is set to extrapolate over the next decade and beyond.
Enter Blencowe Resources and its Orom-Cross Project, which is one of the largest graphite deposits in the world, estimated to contain over three billion tonnes. Furthermore, most of its graphite is near to surface, which means it can be mined easily and at very low cost.
Add to this the high quality of the graphite, its ability to upgrade to a highly sought-after concentrate and a recently awarded 21- year mining license and it is clear that Blencowe has all the attributes to develop into a world class graphite play. Another important factor is the project’s location in Uganda. The English-speaking nation is universally viewed as one of the most stable African countries, with all the requisite qualities in which to develop a world class resource project.
With over 50% of the world’s graphite currently forecast to come out of much higher risk Southern African countries such as Mozambique, Madagascar and Tanzania, lithium-ion battery producers and auto manufacturers are rightly concerned that one of their key source products may be at risk of a supply bottleneck, all of which makes the case for Blencowe’s Orom-Cross project even more compelling.
And at a paltry £8m market cap, Blencowe may be one junior resource company worth following closely over the next few years as it develops this extraordinary asset into production. Covid-19 restrictions notwithstanding, Blencowe has plenty lined up in 2020, with a maiden JORC resource number and strategic partnerships announcements expected. One thing is already clear – the Orom graphite project will be right on time for the anticipated explosion in demand for EV’s and battery technology.
Alan Green talks to Mike Ralston, CEO of Blencowe Resources (LON: BRES) about the company’s 100% owned Orom Graphite Project
Brand Comms CEO Alan Green talks to Mike Ralston, CEO of Blencowe Resources (LON: BRES) about the company’s 100% owned Orom Graphite Project in Uganda. Mike explains the rationale behind what is a huge project in scale, the low extraction costs and the quality of the ‘jumbo flake’ graphite. He touches on the company structure and provides takeaway points for investors.