Lanka Graphite has been granted its first artisanal mining licence (AML) to commence small-scale graphite production in Sri Lanka. The company is focused on the exploration of a number of historic and new mining tenements in central and south-west areas.
An AML grants the licensee the exclusive right to mine, process and trade in all minerals specified in the licence within an area not exceeding 10 hectares and to a depth not exceeding 25 metres.
The company is now engaging local miners to start clearing and preparing the site. It will engage third party local technical consultants to commence installation of wall support at the identified historic mines.
Additional outcropping high-grade vein graphite mineralisation has been identified near the existing mines. Granting of the application will allow Lanka to commence its first graphite production from the licence area.
The company is targeting initial production of 20 tonnes per month of ultra high-grade (97% to +99% TGC) vein graphite from the first quarter of 2018, ramping up to 2400 tonnes per annum within two years.
Lanka is in discussions with multinational graphene company G3 to formalize an offtake agreement to supply high-grade vein graphite as a key product to the manufacture of commercial scale single and multi-layer graphene used in value-added graphene enhanced applications.
Lanka aims to apply for further AMLs at its various exploration licences to increase production to a minimum of 2000 tonnes/annum within two years.
Lank Graphite managing director Emily Lee said, “This is a very exciting phase for the company to transition from a graphite exploration company to a producer.
“The company will continue to advance discussions with other multinational high value end users to add value onto our unique Sri Lankan vein graphite product.”