Talga Group secures environmental permit hearing for Vittangi
- Talga Group (TLG) secures an environmental permit hearing date for its Vittangi graphite project in Sweden
- The hearing has been scheduled by the Swedish Land and Environment Court to take place in Luleå, commencing in the week of January 30, 2023
- The hearing is then expected to conclude in the week of February 20
- A decision regarding the project’s environmental permit will be published after the hearing, along with the exploitation concession decision by the state mining inspectorate
- Talga Group is up 6.12 per cent and trading at $1.30 at 1:11 pm AEDT
Talga Group (TLG) has secured an environmental permit hearing date for its Vittangi graphite project in Sweden.
The company has been working to establish a supply of green graphite anode products for lithium-ion batteries and build Europe’s first large-scale anode production facility, fully integrated with its graphite mining operations.
The initial operation, fed from the Nunasvaara South mine, is planned to produce 19,500 tonnes per annum of Talga’s flagship battery anode product, Talnode-C, over 24 years.
Talga’s environmental permit hearing has been scheduled by the Swedish Land and Environment Court to take place in Luleå, commencing in the week of January 30, 2023.
The hearing is then expected to conclude in the week of February 20.
Talga initially submitted the environmental permit and exploitation concession application for a graphite mine and concentrator at the Nunasvaara South deposit of Talga’s Vittangi graphite project in 2020.
After the two-year wait, a decision regarding the environmental permit will soon be made and published after the hearing, along with the exploitation concession decision by the state mining inspectorate.
Talga Group is up 6.12 per cent and trading at $1.30 at 1:11 pm AEDT, Market Herald reports.
Sweden: Talga has started trial mining at its Vittangi graphite project
The trial mine, operating under a three-year permit issued by the Environmental Review Commission within the Norrbotten County Administration Board, covers the extraction of 25 000 t of graphite ore from Talga’s Niska South deposit at Vittangi.
Trial mined ore will be subsequently refined into the Talga’s flagship lithium-ion battery anode product, known as Talnode-C, for large scale production testing in the electric vehicle supply chain, the company said on Wednesday.
Trial mine operations are scheduled to begin in mid-September and in this first phase of the campaign, some 2 500 t of graphite ore will be extracted before the site is rehabilitated for the northern hemisphere winter.
The balance of the permitted 25 000 t graphite ore is planned to be accessed in 2022.
“The trial mining of our Niska South deposit will allow Talga to begin testing Talnode-C samples on a mass production scale”, said Talga MD Mark Thompson.
“The graphite anode products created from the ore will help progress Talga’s battery manufacturing customer qualification trials and market testing towards future expanded commercial production”.
Mineral Commodities announced results from Trælen Graphite Mine in Norway
Trælen Graphite Mine is part of the Skaland Graphite Operation on the island of Senja, Norway.
In March this year, Mineral Commodities began a 17-hole, 3000-metre drilling program to expand the resource down dip. As of June 30, 14 holes were completed and the company expects the program will finish next month.
So far, the results have confirmed the continuity of mineralisation at Trælen and the potential to upgrade the mineral resource.
The indicated and inferred resource currently sits at 1.78 million tonnes at 22 per cent total graphitic carbon (TGC) for 397,000 tonnes of contained graphite using a 10 per cent cut-off grade.
Significantly, drilling intersected up to 44.5 per cent total graphitic carbon (TGC) at Trælen which confirms it as one of the highest grade operating flake graphite mines in the world.
Latest and best results include 15.7 metres at 30.6 per cent TGC from 99.9 metres, 27.7 metres at 35.6 per cent TGC from 63.2 metres including five metres at 44.5 per cent TGC from 81 metres, and 16.8 metres at 35.3 per cent TGC from 80 metres including 5.5 metres at 40.7 TGC from 89 metres.
Acting CEO Russell Tipper commented on the results.
“These drilling results confirm that the very high-grade graphite mineralisation at Trælen continues along strike, down dip of historical mining operations,” he said.
“We are looking forward to an upgraded mineral resource estimate, targeting an upgrade to the current resource, as well as Skaland’s first ore reserve estimate after the drilling campaign is completed.”
Mineral Commodities expects to deliver an updated mineral resource for the Trælen mine by the end of the September quarter.
Company shares ended the day 6.67 per cent in the green and closed at 16 cents.
MRC’s graphite production in Norway
“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.
Beowulf MoU with Epsilon Advanced on graphite processing in Finland
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between exploration and development company Beowulf Mining with Epsilon Advanced Materials Private, a subsidiary of Epsilon Carbon, to develop a concept for a strategic processing hub of natural flake and recycled graphite in Finland.
The MoU will enable Beowulf’s subsidiary, Fennoscandian Resources, to build its downstream capability, collaborating with a strong technology/processing partner.
“MoU is part of our acceleration plan for Fennoscandian, as the company fulfills its role as a potential future supplier of the raw materials, that Finland and Europe need for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries,” said CEO Kurt Budge.
Fennoscandian is pursuing a strategy to develop a production base of natural flake graphite that can provide ‘security of supply’ and enable Finland to achieve its ambition of self-sufficiency in battery manufacturing.
The company is a recipient of Business Finland funding, which is supporting Fennoscandian to move downstream, and develop its knowledge in processing and manufacturing value-added graphite products.
Fennoscandian is developing the Aitolampi graphite asset, which has a contained graphite resource of 1.28-million tonnes, possessing almost perfect crystallinity, an important prerequisite for high tech applications, such as lithium-ion batteries.
Swedish LKAB intends to start graphite mining and battery production
“Having more legs to stand on that can deliver for the company is a good thing”, says David Högnelid of LKAB as this Swedish mining company signed a non-binding Letter of Intent with Talga and Mitsui with the intent to jointly develop the Talga project in Northern Sweden, according to an LKAB press release.
Australian-based Talga owns 100 percent of the graphite mining project Vittangi in Kiruna municipality, Northern Sweden. The development plan includes the construction of a facility for producing lithium batteries in North Bothnia. Mitsui is a global trade and investment company with headquarters in Japan.
Feasibility study coming up
According to Chief Marketing & Communications Officer David Högnelid at LKAB’s special products business area, Talga will conduct and submit a feasibility study prior to the parties’ negotiating ownership and investments. The detailed feasibility study is expected to be submitted in March 2021.
“We are now three parties having a dialogue and our ambition is to realize this together. Once we have a detailed feasibility study, we can go into more detail about how to do this”, Högnelid says to High North News.
Wants to diversify
LKAB refers to growth in the market for industrial minerals being a “strategic activity to reduce dependency on the iron ore market, which today accounts for some 90 percent of external sales”.
“Reducing this dependency is one of the reasons why we strengthen our industry and mineral activity, Högnelid says.
“We are mainly an iron ore company and right now that market is good. We recently introduced our most recent quarterly report demonstrating solid results; however, we are also affected by external factors such as the dollar exchange rate and the iron ore index, as well as prices on the world market, which we do not control. Thus, we are subject to market fluctuations. It is therefore good for us to have more than one leg to stand on, to deliver to the company.”
The company further states that there is also a clear sustainability-based rationale coupled with the growth ambition, to recycle and upgrade by-products and waste streams.
“Additionally, the growth will be accelerated through selected acquisitions and investments that offer synergies with LKAB’s market, operations and sustainability ambitions. Talga, with its proximity to LKAB’s existing mining operations in Northern Sweden, may offer synergies with resources, skills and infrastructure.”
“Graphite, which Talga works with, is a product classified as a critical raw material by the EU, and we see that there are many potential synergies between our and Talga’s products. Operationally, we have mining near where Talga is planning on operating. We are a major mining actor and there are interests which we want to explore further”, Högnelid adds.
Flake graphite ore project in Inner Mongolia
The World Bank’s ‘Minerals for Climate Action’ report stated in May that demand for lithium, cobalt and graphite could climb by 450-500% by 2050 due to demand for electric vehicles and other applications.
China has started development of a flake graphite ore project in Inner Mongolia that targets annual production of 100,000 tonnes of graphite, negative electrode materials and graphene high-end materials.
The project is being built in the Inner Mongolian city of Bayannur with a total investment of 4.5 billion yuan (US$630 million), according to a report by state-run press agency Xinhua. Flake graphite is often used as a raw material for high-end precision instruments and battery anode material.
The mine’s output would help reduce a reliance on graphite imports, particularly from Syrah Resources’ Balama project in Mozambique, according to an analysis by commodity researcher Roskill. Total Chinese imports of flake graphite rose from 20kt in 2017 to 63kt in 2018 and 197t in 2019 – almost all from Balama.
“This new mine will go some way to fill the gap left by Syrah Resources’ original design plan (which is scaling down production); however, even more capacity is likely to be needed to 2030 and the longer term,” wrote Roskill.