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October 23, 2021
Mining Africa News
Mining News

BlackEarth Minerals well-funded to advance graphite exploration and development in Madagascar

The expanding demand for critical minerals, especially graphite, provided a basis for significant development to the company.

BlackEarth Minerals NL (ASX:BEM) made strong progress during the 2021 financial year and is well-funded to drive exploration and development at its flagship graphite project in southern Madagascar.

The company holds the flagship Maniry Graphite Project and has a bankable feasibility study (BFS) underway with a focus on value-added products which are in high demand.

Promisingly, the expanding demand for critical minerals, especially graphite, provides BlackEarth with confidence for the future.

Financial summary

BlackEarth’s working capital surplus, being current assets less current liabilities, was around $6.2 million on June 30, 2021, compared to $992,924 in the previous corresponding period.

During the period, the operating loss after income tax of the company was about $3.4 million compared to $2.2 million in the previous corresponding period in 2020.

Demand for alternative energy

The worldwide interest and demand for alternative energy sources, including the growth of electric vehicles, helped shine a light during FY21 on the future demand for graphite and exposed existing flaws in current and future supply change volumes.

These factors have helped fuel strong investor and end-user interest in the project and this provides confidence to the company’s board to continue to fast track the development of its potentially world-class graphite project.

Pilot plant designed and used for the large-scale pilot program.

Strategic initiatives

BlackEarth’s MoU with Urbix Resource Inc (USA) offers an opportunity to provide graphite concentrate to a group that aspires to be one of the leading US companies to feed the growing battery anode market in the USA and to, potentially, form a JV in the future for the production of downstream processed graphite suitable for the EV industry.

The company also has an MoU and proposed joint venture to produce Expandable Graphite with Metachem, India – a company with a long history of successful production and supply in Europe and the USA.

In addition, it has a binding offtake agreement with Grafitbergbau, Austria, which provides the option to sell all products from any future JV with Metachem and significantly de-risk investment in this proposed JV.

Furthermore, a binding MoU has been signed with the world’s largest refractory group, RHI Magnesita, a global producer of refractory materials and products, and a large consumer of natural flake graphite for various refractory products and materials.

Key milestones

Some of the supplies donated by BlackEarth Minerals to local villages.

BlackEarth has achieved many milestones which included further, significant exploration and development of its flagship graphite projects in southern Madagascar as it prepares to launch into plant development over the forthcoming years.

A sales and marketing agreement with LuxCarbon, Germany, provides the surety that the company’s concentrate will be sold in the growing and lucrative European market.

Promisingly, this relationship is also a stepping-stone to other opportunities to supply products for LuxCarbon’s Tier One market.

In the field, an extensive drilling and exploration program has begun in Madagascar to further strengthen value to the project’s technical attributes and economic viability.

BlackEarth has completed a large-scale pilot program to treat around 60 tonnes of graphite ore with positive results achieved.

Besides Madagascar, the company has exploration and activities in progress at its Donnelly River sites in Western Australia.

Notably, BlackEarth’s continued development of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives is designed to provide social, health and education support for large parts of southern Madagascar including but not limited to all areas included within its exploration and mining permit areas.

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