“The commencement of decline mining represents a new chapter in the life of Trælen mining operations, which until now have been following the graphite ore up the mountain,” said Mineral Commodities (MRC) acting CEO Russell Tipper.
MRC has started mining operations at the Trælen graphite mine, in Norway, through its 90%-held subsidiary Skaland Graphite.
“It not only supports continued processing operations at Skaland, but also our exploration and infill drilling programme targeting the delivery of an expanded resource base and the first mineral reserve estimate for Trælen in the coming months.
“In parallel, we are processing metallurgical testwork to support an expansion of production at Skaland with the delivery of a prefeasibility study early in the fourth quarter. Skaland continues to be a cornerstone of MRC’s strategy for a value added graphite business,” said Tipper.
MRC’s anode strategy aims to produce natural anode material using low-cost renewable energy and environment-friendly purifying technology to capitalise on the growing demand for sustainably manufactured lithium-ion batteries throughout Europe.
Skaland’s production is expected to ramp up from 10 000 t/y in 2020 to 2022, towards 16 000 t/y in 2023, with studies to further expand production currently under way.
Meanwhile, MRC also reported that the Section 93 order at its 50%-held Tomrin mineral sands operation, in South Africa, remained in effect.
MRC’s 50%-held subsidiary Mineral Sands Resources earlier this year received a notice from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) concerning alleged non-compliance with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, and with the conditions of the mining rights over the Tomin operation.
A review of the operations was undertaken and the DMRE undertook a site visit, and while Mineral Sands Resources noted that areas where improvement in compliance were required had been implemented, the Section 93 Notice remained in effect.