• iTech’s test work has surpassed the industry wide standard of 80% recovery with its first round of metallurgical testing at Lacroma
  • The results have achieved an average purity of 94% TGC with recoveries of ~95%
  • ITM is now looking to produce 3kg of flotation concentrate through bulk floatation test work over the next few weeks


Special Report: Bench scale metallurgical results have achieved high-purity fine flake graphite suitable for purified spherical graphite production, meeting the requirements of a reasonable likelihood of economic extraction.


iTech Minerals (ASX:ITM) Lacroma graphite prospect sits within the broader Campoona project on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

A short 20km from ITM’s proposed graphite processing plant, the prospect features geological characteristics which are favourable for ITM’s plan of establishing a low-cost graphite mining operation.

For starters, mineralisation occurs from surface, it is highly weathered and dominantly clay-hosted, plus the groundwater table is 60-80m deep, which alleviates the problems with groundwater management, acid mine drainage and sulphide affecting flotation properties.


Conducive to a low-cost operation

ITM’s metallurgical consultants, METs Engineering, have achieved impressive results of producing a 94% total graphitic carbon (TGC) concentrate from Lacroma graphite feedstock with excellent recoveries of 95%.

This result was achieved in bench scale tests using conventional graphite flotation processes, without the need for additional chemical or thermal purification techniques. It has been achieved in just the first round of optimisation test work with potential for improvement in future optimisation tests.

The use of an industry standard conventional flowsheet with such high recoveries is conducive for a low-cost graphite processing operation, ITM says.

“We targeted an industry-standard 80% recovery rate with our first round of metallurgical test work, so exceeding it by such a significant margin so early on in the process using simple flotation techniques is incredibly encouraging,” ITM managing director Mike Schwarz says.

It really highlights the potential Lacroma has to produce a high-quality, low-cost graphite product for the growing battery materials market”.


More test work to produce 3kg of concentrate

ITM now plans to produce 3kg of flotation concentrated through bulk flotation test work.

A flowsheet has been designed and approved. Scheduling of the bulk flotation is underway with ALS Laboratories in Perth, WA, with plans to complete the flotation in the next few weeks.

The 3kg of bulk flotation will then be used to undertake the next stages of spheroidization and purification test work with the aim of producing a purified spherical graphite product that meets all industry standards for battery anode material in lithium-ion batteries.

If successful, ITM will be able add substantial new graphite mineralisation to its growing inventory of resources that can produce high quality purified spherical graphite.




This article was developed in collaboration with iTech 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.