Bissett Creek is an open-pit graphite mining project being developed by Northern Graphite Corporation in the Ontario Province of Canada.
The on-going metallurgical testing has confirmed that the project is capable of producing one of the world’s highest percentages of large flake graphite concentrates, with approximately 95% of concentrates produced at Bissett Creek are expected to be greater than 80 mesh.
A complete feasibility study for phase one development of the project was completed in 2012, while the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) of Ontario, Canada granted a mining lease approval in August 2013.
An updated feasibility study for phase one, as well as an expansion preliminary economic assessment (PEA) incorporating the phase two development, was completed in 2013, while a sensitivity analysis confirming the project economics viability was completed in December 2018
The construction works on the project are expected to be started in 2021, with the start of commercial production expected in early 2022.
In phase one, the Bissett Creek project is expected to produce 20,000 tonnes of graphite concentrates a year, which will be doubled in phase two, after three years of operations.
Location, geology, and mineralisation
The Bissett Creek graphite project is located near the Maria township, in Renfrew County, approximately 300km north-northeast of Toronto, in eastern Ontario, Canada.
The project area covers approximately 2,976ha, and lies to the north of Algonquin provincial park, approximately 4km east of the Bissett Creek Road, and approximately 17km from the Trans-Canada Highway between Ottawa and Northern Bay.
The Bissett Creek graphite deposit is situated within the Central Gneiss Belt of the Grenville Structural Province, mostly underlain by the Middle Precambrian age meta-sedimentary rocks.
The graphite mineralisation extends up to 80m beneath the surface and is predominantly hosted in medium to coarse-grained, grey, quartz-silica-rich gneiss. It occurs within the biotite schists containing amphibole, clinopyroxene, chlorite, carbonate, graphite, as well as traces of sphene, apatite, garnet, zircon, and sulphides.
Graphite reserves at Bissett Creek
The Bissett Creek graphite project is estimated to hold approximately 28.3 million tonnes (Mt) of probable ore reserves grading of 2.06% graphite carbon (Cg).
The measured and indicated resources are projected to be approximately 69.8Mt grading 1.74% Cg, while the inferred resources are estimated to be 24Mt grading 1.65% Cg.
Mining and ore processing
The conventional open-pit mining method will be employed to extract the graphite ore from the Bissett Creek deposit.
The extracted ore will undergo crushing, grinding, floatation, followed by drying and screening at a nearby processing plant for the production of the final graphite product. The processing plant also includes a sulphide floatation circuit for the removal of sulphides.
The processing plant’s initial throughput capacity will be approximately 3,000 tonnes per day (tpd) in phase one and it will be doubled in phase two development.
The Bissett Creek graphite project is planned to use the compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelled generators for electricity generation. The CNG will be supplied via trucks from the main Trans Canada line, located approximately 15km away from the project site.
Porcupine Engineering Services and BECMA were awarded a detailed engineering and design contract worth approximately £2.21m (C$3.5m) for the processing plant of the project in January 2013.
G-Mining Services prepared a feasibility study report on the project in October 2012, while AGP Mining Consultants updated the previously prepared feasibility study in September 2013.
Stantec prepared the environmental study report for the Bissett Creek graphite project in 2010.
Bissett Creek graphite project background
The Bissett Creek graphite deposit was discovered by Frank Tagliamonti and Associates in 1980, while the first full feasibility study was carried out by Kilborn Engineering in 1989.
The project was taken over by Industrial Mineral Canada (now Northern Graphite Corporation) in 2002. Northern Graphite Corporation commenced the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) study in April 2009.