Gratomic One Step Closer to Completion of Aukam Processing Plant
Gratomic Inc. (“GRAT” or the “Company”) (TSXV:GRAT)(OTC Pink:CBULF)(FRANKFURT:CB81)(WKN:A143MR) is pleased to announce the arrival of its custom drying and dewatering equipment to its Aukam mine site, allowing the company to complete construction of its on-site graphite processing plant.
Gratomic Inc. (“GRAT” or the “Company”) (TSXV:GRAT)(OTC Pink:CBULF)(FRANKFURT:CB81)(WKN:A143MR) is pleased to announce the arrival of its custom drying and dewatering equipment to its Aukam mine site, allowing the company to complete construction of its on-site graphite processing plant. The equipment was shipped from China and was recently received at Walvis Bay Port in Namibia.
“Covid-19 has certainly posed a challenge in getting our equipment on site. Our team’s hard work and dedication has prevailed against impossible odds and allowed us to get these vital pieces of equipment on site and stay on track with construction timelines. We are now ready to take Gratomic and its Aukam project forward to realize its full potential,” says Arno Brand, President & CEO.
Aukam staff will install the remaining equipment over the coming weeks, bringing the plant into its commissioning phase. The team will then begin testing and calibrating the new equipment to optimize its operations. Product sampling will be conducted in order to set processing parameters to conform to industry standard, quality control and quality assurance requirements. Graphite that is processed through the plant during this calibration phase will be cumulatively bagged and graded as part of the fulfilment for current purchase agreements and future sales.
The new equipment consists of one thickener tank, a cyclone, filter press, rotary dryer, and various slurry pumps and accessories.
The thickener tank, which will be assembled on site, boasts a standing height of 4 meters high by 6 meters wide and will be able to accommodate up to 64 tonnes of graphite per cycle.
Once assembled, the hydro cyclone will allow slurry to flow continuously between the Rod mill and the cyclone, size classifying the graphite between undersized and oversized material. Oversized material will be diverted back to the rod mill for increased resonance time. The undersized material will be sent to a separate holding tank that sends the material to the mixing tanks, and then the flotation columns.
The vertical flotation columns will have the capacity to treat up to 4 tonnes of graphite slurry per hour. From the columns, the processed graphite will settle into the thickener tank. Graphite will flow from the second tank into the filter press. This process is designed to remove as much water as possible for recycling before entering the chipper that will break up the caked mineral material.
Once positioned, the custom-built 39 foot rotary drier, with a drying capacity of up to 5 tonnes per hour, will remove any excessive moisture content from the graphite through evaporation before it is bagged and tagged for customers.
The entire system has been designed to accommodate graphite derived from Gratomic’s Aukam Graphite Project. It has been designed for expansion and the Company intends to add an air classification unit onto the existing plant in late 2020, or early 2021. Plant parameters will be set based on mineral grading and finished product requirements calculated during the calibration phase and will include end product requirements from our current and future customers.
Gratomic wishes to emphasize that no Preliminary Economic Analysis (“PEA”), 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 appointed Dr. Ian Flint to complete a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on the Aukam Processing plant. The study, its recommendations, and their subsequent implementation, will provide conclusions and recommendation at a PEA level of comfort relating to the scale up of the existing processing plant to a commercial scale processing facility that will provide the desired concentrate grades and production rates. The PEA requires that 4 drill holes be completed on the Property and the results be included in the PEA. Unfortunately, due to travel restrictions resulting from Covid-19, the Company has been unable to get a geologist on the Property to complete the drilling so that the PEA can be finalized. It is anticipated that a geologist will soon be able to arrive on the Property to complete the drilling. A preliminary economic assessment is preliminary in nature, it includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized.
Gratomic wishes to emphasize that the supply of graphite pursuant to any off-take or supply agreement referred to in this Press Release 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. Gratomic continues to move its business towards production and as part of its business plan, expects to obtain a National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects technical report to help it ascertain the economics of the Aukam project as soon as drilling can be completed on the Property.
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.
The Company advises that it has not based its production decision on even the existence of mineral resources let alone on a feasibility study 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.
Steve Gray, P. Geo. and a Director of the Company has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information in this press release and is the Company’s “Qualified Person” as defined by National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
About Gratomic Inc.
Established in 2014, Gratomic is an advanced materials company focused on mine to market commercialization of carbon-neutral, high purity vein graphite. The Company is focused on producing low-cost, eco-friendly graphite and is set to become a key player in EV and Renewable Resource supply chains. Gratomic Inc. is a leader among its peers, promising to deliver mine-to-market traceability and guaranteed quality control. This will be accomplished by providing documented tracking of the nearly negligible carbon footprint on all graphite generated at its flagship Aukam Graphite Project. The tracking will begin at Aukam and will be verified at every stage during transport.
Two off-take purchase agreements are currently held for lump-vein graphite sourced from Gratomic’s Aukam Graphite Project in Namibia, Africa. Fulfillment of the contracts is slated to begin in late 2020. The agreements exist with TODAQ and Phu Sumika.
TODAQ is an innovative tech company and will partner with Gratomic on its mine-to-market commodity tracking.
Phu Sumika is a large global graphite supplier to battery and lubrication companies.
The Company anticipates full operational capabilities in late 2020 and aims to transition to an open pit mine as early as 2021.
Gratomic Inc. is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol GRAT.
For more information: visit the website at www.gratomic.ca or contact:
Arno Brand at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416 561-4095
“Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.”
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS:
This news release contains forward-looking statements, which relate to future events or future performance and reflect management’s current expectations and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements reflect management’s current beliefs and are based on assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company. Investors are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause future results to differ materially from those expected. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and, except as required under applicable securities legislation, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements and by those made in our filings with SEDAR in Canada (available at www.sedar.com).