Lithium Energy has upgraded the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for its Burke graphite project in Queensland by around 50% off the back of recent drilling to 9.1Mt at 14.4% Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC) for a total of 1.3Mt contained graphite  – including 7.1 Mt of Graphite at 16.2% TGC for 1.1Mt of contained graphite.

That’s an increase in the contained graphite tonnage of 30%.

The Indicated JORC Mineral Resource now stands at 4.5Mt at 14.7% TGC for 670kt of contained graphite, and the Inferred JORC Mineral Resource is 4.5Mt at 14.2% TGC for 640kt of contained graphite.

The company says the increase allows it to consider enhanced scale of development options, offers upside to further resource expansion as the resource remains open to the north, and it will provide targets for future resource development drilling programs.

Engineering studies scheduled for Q2

The company has also commenced a program of metallurgical test work in China on graphite recovered from the Burke Deposit, the results from which will be used to support an Engineering Study for a proposed anode manufacturing facility based in Queensland to produce high value Purified Spherical Graphite (PSG) material for use in lithium-ion batteries.

“Our Burke Graphite Project continues to grow in value,” Lithium Energy (ASX:LEL) executive chairman William Johnson said.

“The outstanding recent drilling results have led to a substantial increase in the mineral resource size and classification confidence, which provides the company with the opportunity to assess expanded development options in the planned engineering studies that will commence in Q2, 2023.”

Lithium Energy ASX LEL
Burke Graphite Project Mineral Resources Plan View. Pic: Supplied (LEL)

Low cost extraction potential

In addition to the high-grade nature of the deposit, the Burke Graphite Project comprises natural graphite that has been demonstrated to be able to be processed by standard flotation technology to concentrate of purity in excess of 95%.

Notably, the deposit contains graphite from which Graphene Nano Platelets (GNP) have been successfully extracted via Electrochemical Exfoliation (ECE) – a relatively low cost and environmentally friendly compared to other processes, yet it can produce very high purity Graphene products.

The ECE process is not applicable to the vast majority of worldwide graphite deposits as it requires a TGC of over 20% and the company says this means the Burke Deposit has potentially significant processing advantages over other graphite deposits.

Further testwork is currently being conducted.





This article was developed in collaboration with Lithium Energy Limited, 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.