Bass Metals (ASX: BSM) has announced the first sales of graphite concentrate from its wholly-owned Graphmada large flake graphite mine in Madagascar.
This achievement follows the milestone of reaching nameplate production capacity (500 tonnes per month, or 6000 tonnes per annum) at the recommissioned mine a fortnight ago.
Bass said it is now in “immediate proximity” to ticking off the last of the process plant’s stage one objectives – establishing positive cash flow from the operations.
“Achieving first concentrate sales is a significant and pleasing milestone in the company’s trajectory to establishing itself as a material producer of industrial concentrates,” Bass executive director Peter Wright said.
The first sales of 100t of premium concentrates were made through an established offtake agreement in Europe.
According to Bass, the concentrates produced were at a materially higher saleable grade than historic production, with most of the production at or above 94% fixed carbon.
“The prices achieved represent record pricing for concentrates above those previously sold from Graphmada,” the company stated.
Bass said there was a further 300t of saleable concentrates currently warehoused at the Port of Toamasina, with production from Graphmada consistently boosting saleable stock inventories.
The Graphmada mine was recommissioned in April following months of expansion and refurbishment work.
Stage one of the process plant has the capacity to produce 6000tpa of large flake graphite concentrate, although Bass is aiming to scale up to 20,000tpa via a second stage by the end of 2019.
Earlier this month, Bass announced it had achieved this stage one capacity, recording a sustainable feed rate of 25t per hour at an average head grade of 4.5% total graphitic carbon.
Bass said it planned to accelerate its plans to build stage two once stage one production has reached a steady state.
Meanwhile, the company is continuing a brownfield development program with the aim to materially increase resource inventories in direct proximity to Graphmada’s processing infrastructure.
In addition, Bass is in the process of finalising field access and logistics before commencing a maiden drilling program at its Millie’s Reward lithium-in-spodumene discovery, also in Madagascar.
Bass shares were sitting 13% higher at A$0.026 on the news by midday trade.