BlackEarth Minerals has moved toward an exciting project development milestone, signing a graphite production partnership at the door of the burgeoning European market.
BEM has executed a $US3.5m equal equity and profit share arrangement with experienced producer Metachem Manufacturing Company, agreeing to supply up to 4000 tonnes of quality graphite concentrate for treatment at a future expandable graphite plant operated by Metachem.
The company is well on the way to completing a $6 million bankable feasibility study of its flagship Maniry graphite project in the African province of Southern Madagascar, aiming to supply high-quality graphite flake to its new downstream partner for processing when operations commence in mid-2022.
Under the deal, BlackEarth will be responsible for providing sales and technical support to Metachem while managing sales into the fast-growing European fire-retardant material and electric vehicle market and other key markets in other parts of the world.
The partners, already enjoying the security of a supply deal with Austrian graphite producer Grafitbergbau, are targeting $AU17 million sales with plans to be supplying the burgeoning European market by the middle of next year.
“The signing of this JV is an exciting development in the growth of our company,” managing director Tom Revy said.
“To form this partnership with a world leader of expandable graphite production is a wonderful outcome, and this event follows many months of discussions between the executive teams of our two companies.”
“Additionally, partnering with BlackEarth also guarantees the JV a reliable, world-class supply of graphite concentrate in the short term and on an ongoing, long term basis.
“The Indian manufacturing world is rapidly growing with interest from businesses globally.
“We are excited about the prospect for our JV as we grow this business to become a world leader of the supply of downstream graphite products over the decades to come”.
The company now plans to move to a preferred development site while recruiting senior executives in India to manage the planning, construction and development phase.
BEM’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed shares had risen 9.6 per cent today, trading at 13.7c (8:03 am GMT+ 8 hours).