by Greg Klein | August 6, 2014
Announcing its first graphite concentrate from the Woxna mine in central Sweden, Flinders Resources TSXV:FDR claims first place in the Canadian-listed juniors’ quest for flake graphite production. The company’s advantage came from a past-producer that had been on care and maintenance since 2001.
In an August 6 announcement Flinders said it began operations last month, has completed wet commissioning and produced its first graphite concentrate.
“All is on track for full commissioning, with customers now coming to site to confirm our capabilities and discuss expanded supply contracts,” said president/CEO Blair Way.
Describing the operation as “a sustainable European alternative to Chinese supply,” he added, “Now that we have the confidence in our facility and product, we are working to expand our resource base through proving up our historical resources.”
While announcing its first sales contract last May, Flinders stated it was developing a European sales and distribution network. The company plans a formal opening ceremony for Woxna next month.
Flinders overtook another past-producer held by the privately owned Ontario Graphite. Having missed a 2013 re-start target, the company now says its Kearney mine, 250 kilometres north of Toronto, will re-open sometime this year and be fully operational in 2015. “At full capacity, Ontario Graphite projects annual production of 20,000 tonnes of high-quality (95% to 97% Cg) large flake graphite mineral concentrate.”
But Flinders’ production followed that of the UK’s only listed graphite company, Stratmin Global Resources AIM:STGR, which began commercial production at its Loharano mine in Madagascar last April. The company produced 195 tonnes of +90% graphitic carbon (Cg) during Q2 and expects to raise that to 300 tonnes per month in September, with a longer-range forecast of 1,000 tonnes per month.
One junior that outpaced everyone—albeit in a different contest—was Big North Graphite TSXV:NRT. The company has been test-mining an 11-hectare amorphous past-producer in Mexico’s Sonora state. Big North sells semi-processed run of mine from the 50/50 joint venture and from product purchased from other regional mines.