Oar Resources have identified ultra-fine flake graphite from ongoing metallurgical test work on the historic drill core at its Oakdale project in close reach to multiple other active graphite projects in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
It shows a high-grade resource subject to soaring demand from battery metal markets as it moves on an upgraded JORC resource.
An oft understated component of the lithium-ion battery, the price of fine flake graphite has already risen by 44.5 per cent from January 2021 to May 2022 and research group Benchmark Mineral Intelligence see a huge impending growth in demand for natural graphite — predicting a rise of 650 per cent by 2035.
Initial test work has already achieved encouraging grades of 89.1 per cent total graphitic carbon, and OAR are confident further test work and Independent Metalurgical Operations can raise the final concentrate grade beyond 95 per cent and ensure it can be refined into battery anode material.
The company said it was a great opportunity to pivot focus of the project as it pursues its strategy of both exploring for and developing battery minerals.
“The Company has already established that the oxidised soft graphitic clays within the existing Resource may be amenable to being cheaply and readily mined within a shallow open pit without drilling and blasting,” chief executive Paul Stephen said.
“We are excited to commence an additional infill and extension drill campaign with a view to developing a low-cost operation focused on the growing spherical graphite market.”
Permits are now in place for an extensive 5000 metres of aircore drilling to grow its existing JORC resource and provide fresh samples for the ongoing test work.
OAR’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price has risen by 25 per cent today, currently selling at 0.5c (8.51 am UTC+ 8 hours).