PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A scoping study by ASX-listed Hexagon Resources has determined that the preferred location for a standalone graphite purification and processing plant (GPPP) to be Washington State, in the US.
The scoping study considered sites in both the US and in Western Australia, with the US site winning out based on the post-tax economics of the study.
The scoping study is based on a standalone advanced graphite processing plant which will source feedstock on an arms-length commercial basis from third party producers.
The GPPP will produce a suite of end-products comprising a dozen premium materials across battery and technical/industrial applications.
The GPPP will be developed in successive stages, starting in the first half of 2020, and initially comprising a qualification plant with the capacity to produce 1 000 t/y of products to various product specifications.
The operation would then be scaled-up to commercial scope with a rated capacity of some 20 000 t/y of products, with additional expansion resulting in the production of around 50 000 t/y of products.
The Stage 1 operation would require a capital investment of some A$27-million, with a further A$135-million required for Stage 2 and A$153-million for Stage 3.
The US-based project was estimated to have a post-tax net present value of between A$708-million and A$958-million, compared with the estimated A$594-million to A$804-million estimated for the Western Australia-based project.
The US-based operation would also have a post-tax internal rate of return of between 35% and 49%.