Western Mining reveals graphite game plan

Published at Oct 1, 2015, in Mining

Western Mining Network (ASX:WMN) revealed how it aims to become a vertically integrated graphite player in the Asia-Pacific region – aiming to raise $1 million towards the construction of mini plants in Indonesia.

It told investors yesterday that it had come up with a game plan to mine graphite from its projects in Indonesia, and aim to sell both metallurgical graphite and high-end electrical graphite.

WMN unveiled a stepped strategy, saying that it intended to build two mini-plants in Indonesia which will be capable of producing five tonnes of graphite per day at Kalimantan and Sulawesi.

Prices for the finished graphite will vary, with low grades going for less than $US1000 ($A1424.81) to $10,000.

The production of lower-grade graphite, WMN said, simply requires more conventional beneficiation techniques including crushing, milling, agitation, and floatation.

The higher-end processing will be farmed out to its partners, including South Korea-based Carbon Nano Tech.

Its plan, WMN said, was to start small with two beneficiation plants producing smaller quantities of simple products.

However, it’s longer term play is to move further into the higher value processing at its Sulawesi and Kalimantan.

“This approach allows WMN to identify and prioritise the most attractive downstream opportunities and to use its capital more efficiently,” it said.

“The aim is to deliver value to you, our shareholders, through the exploitation of the entire carbon value chain rather than just simple mineral extraction.”

To get the ball rolling, however, it said that it would seek to raise $1 million from a placement. It did not say what pricing or conditions would be attached to the raise.

The placement will not be subject to shareholder approval, but any options issued under the placement will be announced.

The story so far

So far WMN has focused on its resource and tying up strategic partnerships, like the arrangement it has with Carbon Nano Tech.

In July, it announced a deal whereby it would gain 100% of PT Grafindo Nusantara in exchange for 25 million newly issued shares, with no cash outlay.

Western Mining Network’s Kalimantan Project in Indonesia

In return, WMN got its paws on two major tenements in Indonesia prospective for graphite, together the Kalimantan project.

This includes an inferred resource of nearly 8 million tonnes with mean total graphite content of 12.7%.

It also has a mining license for that resource valid until July 2023.

It has also gained a look into the downstream sector in recent times with a Memorandum of Understanding signed with South Korean graphene and graphene product manufacturer Carbon Nano-Material Technology Ltd (CMNT), with WMN to take a staged 51% stake in the company.

The stake gives WMN an insight into the whole value profit chain for graphite, with the company having a presence in the upstream segment via its Indonesian mining tenements and the downstream sector via the South Korean investment.

It also previously signed a heads of agreement with a South Korean consortium to take graphite from its Tamboli project, also in Indonesia.

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