The global graphite chain, historically dominated by China, is to undergo a power overturn as Australia promises lower risk and longer lasting alternative supply sources.
In his address to the recent Paydirt 2019 Battery Minerals Conference in Perth, managing director of Rencascor Renascor Resources David Christensen said a change in the graphite chain dynamic was predicted.
“Everyone has known for five years that China will reach a tipping point and we are at that point,” Mr Christensen said also remarking that China has even become an importer of graphite.
According to Mr Christensen, Rencascor’s future Siviour project in South Australia shows immense potential for mining graphite as the sheer size of the ore reserve means the company can be competitive on cost against China and African sources.
“Our Siviour project in South Australia – the largest graphite ore body in Australia – offers that potential by a wide margin compared with other Australian offerings – and within a mining jurisdiction that is well regulated and understood,” he said.
Rencascor’s Siviour project is nearing the launch line as the company waits on obtaining mining approvals for Arno Bay on the Eyre Peninsula.
In the initial 30-year life, the Siviour mine is to have a start-up cost of US$29m “at a rate of 22,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate per annum”. Feasibility studies are said to have calculated the fully-developed Siviour mine could generate mine concentrate at about US$335 per tonne, making the SA ore body one of the most inexpensive operating graphite mines in the world.