The Santa Cruz Graphite Project, located in Southern Bahia, is the first of a series of battery metals projects that will be put into production. Brazil is the second-largest graphite-producing region in the world with more than 80 years of continuous mining. The Project has at-surface mineralization in friable materials, and successful large-scale pilot-plant testing (>30t) has been completed. The results of the testing show that approximately 65% of Cg concentrate is +80 mesh with good recoveries and 95-99% Cg.
The Santa Cruz Project is being developed in a phased approach. Phase 1 operations for the 5,000 tpy pilot plant operations are fully licensed, and the Company started construction in June 2022 with commercial production targeted for Q4 2023. Phase 2 operations will represent a larger-scale concentration plant currently planned to produce between 25,000 to 30,000 tpy of concentrate. The sizing of the Phase 2 plant could be increased depending on the successes of the Phase 1 operations, ongoing development of commercial relationships, and market conditions.
Mining Method: Open Pit
Process/Metallurgy: Milling & Flotation
Life of Mine: 12 years
Annual Production (years 1-2): 5,000 t p.a.
Annual Production (year 4-11): 25,000 t p.a.
Capital Costs – Phase 1: US$ 8,000,000
Capital Costs – Phase 2: US$ 27,000,000
Avg. Operating Costs(LOM): US$ 396 per tonne of conc.
Avg. Weighted Price: US$ 1287/t
Post-tax NPV5%: US$ 81,200,000
Post-tax all Equity IRR: 35% p.a.
Post-tax Free Cash Flow (LOM): US$ 129,000,000
Payback Period: 4 years (Start of Construction)
The Project has excellent infrastructure and logistics. The mine is located 1.3 km off paved federal highway. There is a graded gravel road maintained by the Municipality straight to the mine and plant. The electric substation is within 6 km of the plant site, along with a major natural gas line within 5 km. Water will be provided onsite from wells.
International airport is located 90 km away in Porto Seguro. The major ports of Ilheus (270 km) and Vitoria (510 km) are nearby and accessible via paved federal highways. It is an easy day’s drive to the major industrial centers in Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.