BlackEarth remains on track to deliver its definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Maniry graphite project in Madagascar, naming a crack team of globally-recognised advisors to the project.

The DFS, which is being prepared as a financing document to meet project debt financiers’ requirements and provide certainty, follows the recent scoping study update which outlined some very attractive numbers.

Recent progress by BlackEarth Minerals (ASX:BEM) on the DFS involves the appointment of these experienced, world-class advisors:

  • CPC Engineers: DFS engineering Capex and Opex, including assisting on metallurgy, Study Report;
  • Golder: geotechnical, water supply, surface water management, TSF and waste geochemistry;
  • Snowden: resource development and modelling;
  • GSC: ESIA in partnership with Malagasy specialist;
  • Mining Focus: mining study and production schedule; and
  • Orezone: Infill drilling at Razafy

The DFS base case currently includes the Razafy & Razafy Northwest resources though ongoing drilling has the potential to identify further high-grade resources at depth and along strike at Razafy NW.

This could in turn deliver improvements to both net present value and internal rate of return, both measures of a project’s profitability. Very attractive updated project financials were recently announced: NPV US$230M and IRR 86%.

Maniry currently has an Indicated resource of 9.9 million tonnes grading 7.7% total graphitic carbon, or 758,000t of contained graphite.

BlackEarth turning new earth

BlackEarth plans to start systematic resource development exploration targeting and definition using both geophysics and drilling.

This will be combined with ongoing metallurgical testwork to target coarse graphite production.

Work is also underway on flowsheet development to maximise coarse graphite product while the company will continue to investigate opportunities in shared logistics of imports and exports.

1Mtpa of devil in the DFS detail

Blackearth’s plan is for its existing 60 tonne pilot plant to serve as the basis of design for commercial operations, which will process at an initial rate of 500,000tpa during the first three years before ramping up to 1Mtpa.

All plant and infrastructure for the mine will be built on the granted 40 year Mining Lease 5394 while applications are underway to convert the remaining exploration leases into mining leases.

Ore reserves for the DFS will be determined from Measured and Indicated resources.

BlackEarth plans to use contract mining with small equipment and has flagged that no project waste dumps will be required as the waste will be used for tailings dam development and subsequent lifts.

On the processing front, optimisation testwork is currently being undertaken including flotation and comminution variability tests with a focus on producing coarse flake concentrate.

This will add to work such as process design criteria, process mass balance, flowsheets, tailings test work and preliminary tailings dam designs which have already been completed.




This article was developed in collaboration with BlackEarth Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.