ASX-listed Syrah Resources Is continuing to make good progress on its Balama graphite project in northern Mozambique and says that commissioning remains on schedule for Q2 2017 and that the capital budget remains unchanged at US$193 million. The excellent safety record on site has been maintained and the project has now achieved 1,2 million hours with no LTIs or significant incidents in 2017.
A recent view of the Balama site (photo: Syrah Resources).
According to the company, the overall process plant construction progress was 70 % as at mid-March with all engineering and procurement complete. Mine development is also progressing well, with mining facilities including the warehouse and wash down pads complete. Topsoil removal from the Balama West Stage 1 pit is complete and mining of ore is scheduled in May 2017 for commissioning of the primary crusher.
A temporary laboratory will be established in April 2017 to receive grade control and ore characterisation samples from the mine. The permanent laboratory is expected to be operational by May.
The mine will be powered by an on-site 15,4 MW power station. All seven generators have now been installed on concrete foundations, the E-Room building has been placed and electrical works including installation of cable trays and the main transformer are underway.
Snowden delivered a full feasibility study (FS) on the project in May 2015, which confirmed Balama as the world’s largest flake graphite project. As detailed in the FS, Balama will have a nameplate capacity of 350 000 tonnes of concentrate per annum at 95 % Total Graphitic Content (TGC), with the reserves being sufficient for over 40 years of operation at full production. The average head grade will be approximately 19 % TGC during the first 10 years of operations.