Sovereign Metals has revealed the results of a Scoping Study from its Duwi flake graphite project in Malawi, which showed that the project can support graphite concentrate production of 110,000 tons per annum (tpa) over an initial mine life of 20 years.

The study finds that the project requires an initial investment of $112m and operating cost is expected to be around $498 per tonne of concentrate including transport costs.

The concentrate flake size and purity footprint at the project is suggesting that it can be used in a wide range of traditional and emerging end-use applications.

Sovereign appointed specialist engineering and metallurgical consultancy Nova Projects to carry out the study, which assessed the production and export of flake graphite products from Duwi.

The study focused on the Duwi Main and Duwi Bend deposits which together estimated to be about 77.3 Mt including 7.2% total graphitic carbon (Indicated and Inferred) for 5.57 Mt contained graphite (5% TGC cut-off).

The study considered two production assumptions, including the 1.5 Mtpa base case and the 0.55 Mtpa low tonnage case.

Under the base case, processing 30 Mt of indicated and inferred material from Duwi Main and Duwi Bend at a rate of 1.5 Mtpa over a 20-year life to produce around 110,000 tpa of flake graphite concentrate.

Under the low tonnage case, mining and processing of 11 Mt of Indicated Duwi Main ore at a mining and processing rate of 0.55 Mtpa over a 20-year life to produce around 40,000 tpa of flake graphite concentrate.