The company has contracted SGS Laboratories for laboratory services, Metpro Management to oversee the metallurgical test work, Lycopodium for PFS on a concentrate plant, ANZAPLAN for Scoping Study, and Magnor for drilling and exploration


Metals Australia awards major contracts for Lac Rainy. (Credit: Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay)

Metals Australia has awarded major project study contracts to advance the development of its Lac Rainy high-grade flake-graphite project in the Tier 1 mining jurisdiction of Quebec, Canada.

The company has signed a metallurgical and laboratory services agreement with laboratory testing services provider SGS Laboratories in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

It has appointed specialist client advisor Metpro Management to oversee the metallurgical test-work programmes for the design of a flake-graphite concentrate plant.

Lycopodium has been awarded a contract to conduct a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for the design of a 100,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) flake-graphite concentrate plant.

The PFS, which builds on the 2021 Scoping Study results, will include the flake-graphite concentrate plant and associated site infrastructure.

Germany-based ANZAPLAN received a contract for the assessment of downstream battery-grade spherical graphite (SpG) concentrate purification, plant location and Scoping Study.

Metals Australia CEO Paul Ferguson said: “We are delighted to have locked in a series of critical project development and test-work contracts with leading global service providers as we continue our efforts to grow the Lac Rainy resource and accelerate the development of what we believe is a world-class flake-graphite project.

“Significantly, Metals Australia’s strong cash balance, which stood at $17.8m at the end of the March quarter, gives us the financial strength to rapidly advance our pipeline of development studies at Lac Rainy, while also continuing exploration programs across our suite of other highly prospective projects in Canada and Australia.

Metals Australia said the development works build on the positive results from previous downstream product test work, which produced battery-grade spherical graphite (SpG).

The SpG produced had excellent battery charging and discharge performance.

The company has also signed a drilling and full-service support contract with Canadian geological service company Magnor Exploration.

Magnor is responsible for completing drilling and other exploration programs for mineral resource expansion and testing new regional targets at the Lac Rainy project.

The current resource of the project is contained within only 1km of a demonstrated 36km strike-length of high-grade graphitic trends3 which have been tested to date.

“We believe these studies will help unlock the significant value of the Lac Rainy project, which is not reflected in the current share price. This is despite the fact Lac Rainy has already demonstrated compelling and robust economics, as outlined in the 2021 Scoping Study.

“The work we are now advancing will significantly de-risk the project and bring it closer to development – at an ideal time when North America is seeking reliable supplies of critical minerals to establish or reorient its manufacturing base and supply logistics.”