Gratomic Inc. provides its fifth progress update on the bench-mining program at its Aukam Graphite Project in Namibia, further to the press release dated September 21, 2022. The benching process typically involves successively cutting berms alongside the mountain edge in order to steadily expose underground material, at the same time ensuring the stability of the mountain structure. This process allows for the collection of graphite in stages as the platforms are constructed on the Aukam mountain.
As the benching advances, wider benches are scheduled to improve the liberation of graphite at Aukam. This will aid unnecessary mineral loses during the bench-mining operations. Approximately 1,000 tonnes of graphite have been transferred from the mountain to the ROM (Run of Mine) pad in preparation for processing. Another 1,600 tonnes of mineral have been extracted bringing the cumulative total to 2,600 tonnes. The ROM stockpile has been separated by estimated grade, ensuring constant feed into the plant, securing more consistent recoveries and improved tailings management. Bench-mining is progressing as planned. The safety of the benching operation is a major priority, with no incidents having been recorded during the process. Operator training is also a high priority to ensure the health and safety of machine operators, due to the benching process in the mountain area.
Arno Brand, President & CEO, states, “One of the main foundational pillars at Gratomic is to build a sustainable operation in an environmentally friendly, people-centric manner, so that we can leave a lasting legacy for future generations.”
“Our mining team understands the importance of ensuring safety as a fundamental value at Gratomic. At the same time, they are always looking for ways to improve productivity and yield the results that we need”, says Armando Farhate, COO & Head of Graphite Marketing & Sales.
Gratomic wishes to emphasize that no Preliminary Economic Analysis, Preliminary Feasibility Study or Feasibility Study has been completed to support any level of production. In fact, no mineral resources let alone mineral reserves demonstrating economic viability and technical feasibility, have been delineated on the Aukam property.
The Company is working towards completing a Feasibility Study (FS) on the Aukam Processing plant. The study, its recommendations, and their subsequent implementation, will provide conclusions and recommendation at a FS level of comfort relating to the scale up of the existing processing plant to a commercial scale processing facility capable of producing the desired concentrate grades and production rates.
Gratomic wishes to emphasize that the supply of graphite is conditional on Gratomic being able to bring the Aukam project into a production phase, and for any graphite being produced to meet certain technical and mineralization requirements.
No mineral resources, let alone mineral reserves demonstrating economic viability and technical feasibility, have been delineated on the Aukam Property. The Company is not in a position to demonstrate or disclose any capital and/or operating costs that may be associated with the processing plant until the FS (Feasibility Study) is completed.
The Company advises that it has not based its production decision on even the existence of mineral resources let alone on a Preliminary Feasibility Study or FS of mineral reserves, demonstrating economic and technical viability, and, as a result, there may be an increased uncertainty of achieving any particular level of recovery of minerals or the cost of such recovery, including increased risks associated with developing a commercially mineable deposit.
Historically, such projects have a much higher risk of economic and technical failure. There is no guarantee that production will begin as anticipated or at all or that anticipated production costs will be achieved.
Failure to commence production would have a material adverse impact on the Company’s ability to generate revenue and cash flow to fund operations. Failure to achieve the anticipated production costs would have a material adverse impact on the Company’s cash flow and future profitability.
Gratomic is a multinational company with projects in Namibia, Brazil, and Canada. The Company is focused on becoming a leading global graphite supplier and aims to secure a strong position in the EV battery supply chain. With the continued development of its flagship Aukam project and further exploration on the Company’s Capim Grosso property, Gratomic sets itself apart by seeking out unique top-quality assets around the world. True to its roots, the Company will continue to explore graphite opportunities displaying potential for development. The Company ranked third place in the top 10 preforming mining stocks on the 2022 TSX Venture 50™.
Large quantities of high-quality vein graphite have been shipped for testing to confirm its viability as an anode material. Gratomic is confident that the test results will provide a unique competitive advantage in its desired target markets. The Company will continue to update the public on the status of these tests and will provide results as soon as they become available.
The Company has formed a collaboration agreement with Forge Nano. With its patented ALD coating, this cooperation with Forge Nano is a key element to support Gratomic’s strategies towards the value-added phases of production of graphite for anode applications, namely micronization, spheronization and coating, making Gratomic graphite a preferred choice for use in lithium-ion batteries.