Following a resource upgrade late last month, Triton Minerals (ASX: TON) has updated its resources even further, expanding contained graphite almost 5% at its Ancuabe graphite project in Mozambique.
Contained graphite has risen from 2.9 million tonnes in late November to 3.04mt, with the resource supporting a 30-year operation.
Total indicated and inferred resources for the project’s T12 and T16 deposits have grown to 46.1mt grading 6.6% total graphite carbon for the contained 3.04mt of graphite.
According to Triton, the updated resources boost the company’s confidence in the T16 deposit which is subject to a definitive feasibility study due for completion at the end of the month.
The latest upgrade will be incorporated into the definitive feasibility study, with T16 resources now sitting at 20.8mt grading 7.9% total graphite carbon.
“This resource upgrade is particularly pleasing in that it increases the confidence of T16 and also provides further upside potential as the new areas are generally shallow,” Triton managing director Peter Canterbury said.
He added the shallow mineralisation could result in lower strip rations and reduce mining costs.
“The Ancuabe project is located in a world class graphite province only 90km from port, and with access to existing road, rail and port infrastructure,” he said, adding the project had also garnered support from the Mozambique Government.
On the 22 November, Triton submitted its mining concession application to operate a graphite mine at the project for an initial 25-year period. The licence is renewable for a further 25 years.
Triton also plans to release a maiden JORC-compliant reserve early next year and start developing the project.
Ancuabe was historically mined between 1994 and 1999, producing about 7,500t of flake graphite.
Graphite is one of the critical metals required in the anode of lithium-ion batteries which are powering electric vehicles, consumer electronics and sustainable energies.
China has traditionally dominated the world’s graphite supply – accounting for 80%, with the US, EU, Japan and Korea dependent on mineral imports.
What isn’t as well known is up to 40 times more graphite than lithium is used in the lithium-ion battery.
As the lithium-ion battery market continues rocketing, graphite demand is predicted to pick up, with the market accounting for about 25% of all graphite consumption.
Shares in Triton Minerals remained steady at A$0.072 in early morning trade.