Owners of Montepuez graphite project said the project’s capital costs could be cut from $126-million to $42.3-mllion, while operating costs could reduce from $422/t to $337/t, as new engineering design commences.

Battery Minerals the Montepuez developers said the engineering study will save millions and ensure a refined mine plan producing higher head grade, an owner-operator mining strategy, lower water consumption and increased recoveries will save millions.

“We have identified the optimum operating and financial balance for Montepuez and the outcome is extremely strong,” said Battery Minerals executive chairperson David Flanagan.

“By restructuring the size, mine life and some other key aspects of this project, we can increase the head grade significantly, slash the capital and operating costs, and cut the payback period by more than half.”

The value engineering study has also reduced expected life-of mine from 30 years to ten years, with annual concentrate production reducing from 100 000 t/y to between 45 000 t/y and 50 000 t/y, and average annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization reducing from $27-million to less than $20-million.

“With this robust development strategy now clearly mapped out, we will now move to secure our mining concession, progress the detailed engineering and design work, and step up offtake and funding discussions,” said Flanagan.

“In addition, we have a very exciting drilling programme which we will be kicking off in the coming weeks.

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