Syrah Resources Limited (ASX code: SYR) is an Australian-based industrial minerals and technology company. Construction of Syrah's Balama graphite project (Balama) in Mozambique, is essentially complete and commissioning activities are well underway with first production of flake graphite achieved in November 2017. Process plant optimisation is underway. Balama will be the leading global producer of high purity graphite. Balama production is targeted to supply traditional industrial graphite markets and emerging technology markets. Syrah has successfully completed extensive product certification test work with several major battery producers for the use of Balama spherical graphite in the anode of lithium-ion batteries.
A Feasibility Study completed during May 2015 confirmed that the Balama Project will be a first quartile cash cost producer due to its high grade, open pit operations which has an extremely low stripping ratio. The processing plant will have a feed rate of 2 Mt per annum, and based on an average head grade of approximately 19% TGC (Total Graphitic Concentrate) over the first 10 years of operations, approximately 350,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate will be produced per annum. This production profile will make Balama the largest producer of graphite globally, and ideally positioned to meet the anticipated increase in demand from lithium ion battery applications, as well as servicing traditional graphite markets.
As at November 2017, all major construction works are essentially complete and demobilisation of construction teams is well underway.
Key regulatory approvals have been secured including a Mining Concession, Water License, Environmental License, Land Access (DUAT) License and the Mining Agreement has been approved, awaiting final ratification.
Syrah is now focused on the remaining commissioning activities of the fines circuit and further optimisation works. Marketing activities have stepped up to include binding sales agreements with battery anode manufacturers. Syrah is targeting production of 160,000 - 180,000 tonnes in 2018 and 250,000 - 300,000 tonnes in 2019 of graphte concentrate based on the current demand profile.
Commissioning will be staged to be completed in parallel with construction completion and prioritised for initial production of course flake. The stages used in the commissioning are:
Dry Commissioning – No-load energisation;
Wet Commissioning – Running with water and air;
Ore Commissioning – Initial introduction of ore;
Optimisation – Tuning to enable capacity and product specifications to be achieved.
Commissioning process diagram