DEI – Blencowe Resources, which is carrying out exploration in Kitgum, northern Uganda, has sent its first consignment of graphite ore from its Orom Cross project to China for further testing as it draws plans to start commercial production of one of the most-sought after minerals in the global battery market.
About half of a lithium-ion battery is comprised of graphite. Lithium-ion batteries are currently used in most portable consumer electronics such as cell phones and laptops because of their high energy per unit mass relative to other electrical energy storage systems.
Blencowe announced that at least 150 kg of the graphite sample had been sent to Chinese graphite processing specialist Jilin Huiyang New Material Technology Company Ltd for final metallurgical testing.
The junior mining company from UK said it received approval from the government of Uganda before exporting the mineral ore. There is a ban in Uganda against the exportation of mineral ore.
In a statement, the company said that “this final stage of metallurgical test work is a key component of the ongoing Definitive Feasibility Study.”
A few weeks ago, we reported that Blencowe had hired a firm – CPC Engineering – to draw up designs for a plant at its Orom Cross graphite plant.
CPC will further sign off on the full Definitive Feasibility Study once completed to provide the third-party approval from a recognised leading technical firm as required to ensure project funding support.
Cameron Pearce, Executive Chairman of Blencowe Resources, said the company is well on its way towards commercial production of graphite.
“Our process to secure end-product qualification – which then opens the door to binding offtake contracts – is underway. This is a methodical process designed to deliver an end-product that meets the most stringent battery grade testing by the OEMs.”
Adding, “We are very confident in the product to be produced from Orom-Cross, especially given the lack of impurities within the concentrate in all testing thus far. If we can continue to demonstrate this quality in the months ahead, we will be in excellent shape to complete this pre-qualification process.”
The choice of taking the samples to China is quite clear – the Asian country is the world’s largest producer and consumer of graphite. This means that China has a lot of expertise in the graphite industry, with a well-established network of testing facilities and experienced professionals who can provide accurate and reliable results.
No timeframe was given on when the testing in China will be completed, although this could take a couple of months.