Syrah Resources, listed on the ASX, reports that its Balama graphite project in Mozambique remains on schedule and budget with an overall completion of 42,6 % having been attained as at 31 August 2016. Although over 1 100 personnel are working on site, the project’s strong safety record continues with over 1 million man-hours worked without a lost time injury.
A recent aerial view of the Balama site (photo: Syrah).
The key Structural, Mechanical and Piping (SMP) construction contract has been awarded to Kentz Engineers & Contractors Limitada (Kentz), a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group. Kentz has successfully operated in Mozambique for 18 years and – says Syrah – has a proven track record of delivering major mining and metals construction projects in the country.
“We are delighted to have Kentz, with their strong operational history in Mozambique, join our Balama project construction team,” says Syrah’s MD, Tolga Kumova. “We look forward to partnering with them to realise our vision of being the largest supplier of high quality graphite globally.”
Over 5 700 m3 of concrete has been poured allowing for the SMP contractor to commence structural steel construction.
Syrah reports that delivery of major equipment and construction materials to site is progressing well with no major delays and that the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) is under construction with over 700 000 m2 of area cleared ready for excavation to commence during September 2016.
The Balama project is situated in Cabo Delgado Province in northern Mozambique, some 200 km west of the port town of Pemba. The project has a JORC 2012-compliant ore reserve of 81,4 Mt at 16,2 % total graphitic carbon (TGC) for 13,1 Mt of contained graphite. This is reportedly the largest graphite ore reserve in the world. According to the feasibility study on Balama, the project – which will employ simple open-pit mining – will have a production of over 350 kt/a. Commercial production is scheduled to commence in Q2 2017.