Resource drilling at BlackEarth Minerals’ (ASX: BEM) flagship Maniry project has pulled up multiple thick, high-grade graphite intersections, ahead of the company’s imminent maiden resource.
According to BlackEarth, these latest intersections demonstrate the “major growth potential” of the Madagascan project’s primary Razafy deposit.
Notable intersections were 35.7m at 7.6% total graphitic carbon (TGC), 43m at 7.3% TGC and 26.95m at 7.5% TGC.
All three intersections included higher-grade intervals of more than 10% TGC that ranged in widths from 4.6m to 10m.
Speaking with Small Caps, BlackEarth managing director Tom Revy said the company has been on “fast-track to cash flow” program since it listed on the ASX in January and has met every milestone it has set to-date.
Mr Revy added that initial exploration and metallurgical results had “exceeded” the company’s expectations.
“Our first six months in Madagascar has been extremely positive in terms of work completed and outcomes.”
“We also need to remember that we have only scratched the surface of this large graphitic system,” he pointed out.
“BlackEarth will continue down this development path to ensure that shareholders are rewarded for investing in what we believe is a great project in a preferred jurisdiction,” he said.
Today’s results were the final assays from a 65-hole drilling campaign at the deposit, which has returned consistently high-grade and thick intersections.
Previous drilling highlights were 42m at 7.1% TGC, 25.1m at 7.6% TGC and 24.4m at 7.3% TGC.
The high-grade graphite has been defined over 1.2km of strike at Razafy, with mineralisation remaining open in both directions.
Additionally, assays from the Razafy East prospect have returned similar results, with notable intersections including 13.29m at 6.5% TGC, 12.51m at 7.1% TGC and 14.23m at 6.6% TGC.
These assays will be incorporated into the maiden resource, which is due shortly.
Meanwhile, a 25-hole drilling program is underway a the Haja prospect with 21 holes now completed.
BlackEarth anticipates a maiden resource for this prospect will be available in the December quarter.
Previous drilling at Haja offered up an “extensively” thick intersection of 70m at 5.3% TGC.
In addition to the positive drill intersections, metallurgical analysis of Razafy graphite has returned encouraging results confirming very large flakes above 500 microns occur frequently, with sizes ranging up to 2,900 microns.
The larger flake size can attract a premium price in the expandable graphite market.
Other optimistic mineralogy findings included minimal contaminants in the Razafy flake, which makes it a potential candidate for the high-purity lithium-ion battery market.
Mr Revy said BlackEarth plans to complete a scoping study within the next six months, which will be followed by discussions with potential offtake partners.
The market reacted positively to today’s news, with BlackEarth’s share price soaring 8% to reach A$0.135.