Peninsula Mines (ASX: PSM) has reported “super jumbo” graphite flakes on rock samples taken from its Chugwang project in South Korea.
Petrographic analysis on the recently acquired project identified “super jumbo” graphite flakes above 500 microns, with several coarse single flakes larger than 750 microns and more than 100 microns wide.
Prior to gaining the project, previous exploration had identified surface graphite across 1km strike with total graphitic carbon grading between 13% and 50%.
According to Peninsula Mines, the number of flakes exceeding “super jumbo” size reveals the graphite mineralisation could potentially produce high-purity, large-flake graphite concentrate.
Further exploration will involve mapping and channel sampling across Chugwang and the company’s other nearby project Eunha.
Peninsula Mines already has a non-binding offtake agreement signed with Graphene Korea for 20,000 tonnes of graphite flakes above 180 microns and 95% total graphitic carbon.
South Korea and Asia are increasingly using graphite in building cladding products and Peninsula Mines plans to target these markets.
“We are on the doorstep of the world’s largest market for high-growth expandable graphite and lithium-ion battery production and we look forward to progressing these projects towards development,” Mr Dugdale said.
Graphite is also used in refractory, foundry, wind energy, aerospace, lubricant and the rapidly emerging lithium-ion battery market. Lithium ion batteries require up to 20 times more graphite than lithium.
According to some analysts, the graphite market is predicted to be worth almost US$30 billion by 2022.
Based in Western Australia, Peninsula Mines has several projects in South Korea that are prospective for graphite, lithium, molybdenum, tungsten and zinc.
The company’s proximity to its primary market gives it the potential to cut supply chain costs and enhance its overall profit.