Aukam takes a concrete step to industrial-scale graphite production after ministry issues comprehensive mining licence
Local mining promotor, Frans Indongo Junior, and his Canadian partners, Gratomic Inc announced that a comprehensive mining license, ML 215, has just been granted to the Joint Venture to start mining graphite on an industrial scale at the old Aukam graphite mine in the south.
President and Chief Executive of the Toronto-listed Gratomic, Arno Brand said they are thrilled to have received the official mining licence for Aukam. “This is a monumental milestone for Gratomic, which took an extensive amount of effort to accomplish. Once the funding is secured, Gratomic will be able to move into the commercialization phase of development.”
In a statement release on Wednesday 06 May 2020, Gratomic said that it has been running a pilot processing plant for the past eight months to make an assessment of the graphite grade left on site by the mine’s previous owners. The Aukam mine was abandoned in the 1970s and has lain fallow since.
Located some 70 km south of the Aus- Goageb road in the Karas region, Aukam has the potential to produce about 20,000 tonnes of 98% Carbon as Graphite. The pilot plant already has the ability to process a significant part of this target, with only small extensions required to bring the mine to its intended production.
“The company has recently appointed Gratomic board member, Dr Ian Flint to complete a preliminary economic assessment on the Aukam 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,” stated Gratomic.
In an earlier interview with stockhouse.com, Brand said the pilot plant has been financed through equity investment, which he described as a rare feat for mining operators.
Extensive exploration at the Aukam site has been carried out over the past five years under four Exclusive Prospecting Licences (EPLs) issued by the ministry in 2016.
Graphite is widely used in manufacturing as a strengthener, dry lubricant, and battery filler. Lately it has become an important element in the construction of large batteries that drive the next generation electric cars.
Gratomic Inc is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker GRAT.