The university’s 30-day trails revealed that the graphite from the Eyre Peninsula’s Sugarloaf deposit can be used as a natural nutrient soil conditioner.

It contains and releases a range of macro and micro nutrients that are required for plant growth and improves water retention of the soil.

Sugarloaf carbon features a broad composition of carbon, silica, and soluble macro and micro nutrients, and earlier tests demonstrated that it contains 11 out of 13 elements required as nutrients for plant growth

Archer’s managing director Gerard Anderso said: "This has the potential to be a second commercially viable graphite project in addition to our high quality, battery grade graphite that we have found at the Company’s neighbouring Campoona, Campoona Central and Lacroma projects."

The university carried out a series of tests using raw Sugarloaf graphite, including plant trials.

Soil required for the trials was sourced from Archer’s wholly owned farm on which Sugarloaf is located.

Researchers placed three grains of wheat in small pots, each containing 120g of Sugarloaf soil and varying amounts of Sugarloaf graphite (7.5g, 15g and 30g), while the control pot is placed without Sugarloaf graphite.

The preliminary results demonstrated that soil spiked with Sugarloaf carbon significantly increased shoot and root length of the wheat, while other work showed that raw Sugarloaf graphite reduced soil water loss due to evaporation.

Researchers will reveal further results of the plant and soil trials and results from additional test work over coming weeks.

Image: The Wheat trials revealed that graphite from Eyre Peninsula’s Sugarloaf deposit enhanced plant growth. Photo: courtesy of ABN Newswire/ Archer Exploration Limited.