Archer positioned to save $14 million using alternative refinement process

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Jul 10, 2018, in Mining

Archer Exploration Limited (ASX:AXE) has continued its drive as a multi-disciplined mining and technology group with some promising developments in the refining of graphite.

In collaboration with Urbix Resources LLC it has been investigating alternative methods for graphite refinement that seek to reduce AXE’s future capital costs and provide efficient, high-volume graphite processing.

It is intended that the ore will be sourced from the company’s Campoona Graphite Deposit in South Australia.

Management stressed that the alternative refinement method would maintain the quality required for downstream material feedstocks in battery componentry and graphene production.

Urbix achieves TCC of +98 per cent

Urbix has been successful in purifying Campoona graphite from a total carbon content (TCC) grade of 93-94% to a minimum TCC of +98%.

These initial and final values of grade are in-line with values obtained from hydrogen fluoride (HF) leaching methods conducted by Archer on Campoona graphite reported in previous metallurgical testing results.

However it is an early stage of this company’s development and if considering this stock for your portfolio you should take all public information into account and seek professional financial advice.

Archer Chief Executive, Dr Mohammad Choucair, highlighted the significance of this development in saying, “These initial results from Urbix are important because they provide Archer with cost-effective options for the processing of the Campoona graphite.

“We look forward to continuing to explore pragmatic solutions with Urbix that will allow us to advance the development of our Campoona Graphite Project and unlock value for Archer’s products downstream where graphite is a critical feedstock material”.

These positive preliminary results provide encouragement for the continuing joint development of further advanced stages of purification processing of Campoona graphite by Urbix to battery-specific grades and morphologies.

Processing in North America delivers $14 million in savings

With further successful testing, the Urbix technology provides Archer with an opportunity to toll process Campoona graphite in North America, reducing the capital cost for the Sugarloaf Graphite Processing Facility and reducing Archer’s environmental footprint on the Eyre Peninsula.

The potential capital cost benefits of producing high-purity graphite concentrate through Urbix’s proprietary processing method are estimated at approximately $14 million over the life of the Campoona Graphite Project.

Importantly, the high structural and physical integrity of the Campoona graphite was maintained after the purification process performed by Urbix, with its potential for commercial applications retained.

This was verified by AXE using nano-scale and atomic-scale analysis of representative, processed samples, at the world-class Australian Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis at The University of Sydney, and the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre at The University of New South Wales.

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