Toronto-listed graphite-focused company Gratomic has received a Notice from the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Namibia that the minister is prepared to grant Mining License 215 for its Aukam graphite property in Namibia, reports Mining Review.
The license area falls within the proximity of the Aukam processing plant and the graphite bearing shear zone for a total of 5 002 ha. Securing the mining license is a critical step towards moving the Aukam mine into commercial production.
The company has completed eight months of pilot testing on historically mined product and conducted an internal study on the efficiency of the pilot processing facility on this material. Through rigorous testing and adjustments to the plant, Gratomic can now produce a concentrate of up to 98% Cg. Management has subsequently decided to build a 20 000 tpa processing plant.
To date, 90% of construction is complete. Upon completion of the remaining 10%, the company will initially start processing material from historical workings left at the surface when the mine last operated in 1974.
Gratomic recently appointed Ian Flint to complete a preliminary economic assessment on the Aukam graphite processing plant. The study, its recommendations, and their subsequent implementation, will ensure the scale up of the existing pilot plant to a commercial scale processing facility that will provide the desired concentrate grades and production rates.
With respect to site exploration, in the coming months diamond drilling will resume at Aukam Graphite. The drilling will be conducted utilizing company-owned drilling equipment, focusing on areas proximal to graphite mineralization, depicted by previous diamond drilling, underground excavation and surface outcrop sampling.