The Molo graphite project in the province of Toliara of Madagascar is one of the largest-known and highest quality flake graphite deposits in the world.

The project is fully owned by Canada-based battery materials development company NextSource Materials.

In 2017, the company released the results of an updated feasibility study of the project. Another feasibility study of the project was released in 2019, which outlined a phased development approach.

Molo will be developed in two phases. In the first phase, the mine will produce 17,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of flake graphite concentrate over first two years. The Phase II production will increase to 45,000 tpa in year three.

The Madagascar Government granted a 40-year mining licence for the Molo Graphite Project in February 2019. The project received Global Environmental Permit from the Madagascar Ministry of Environment’s Office National pour l'Environnement in April 2019.

In the same year, NextSource registered Molo SuperFlake® as a trademark in Canada. This provided the company with the right to brand all Molo Graphite Project’s natural flake graphite sold in Canada as Molo SuperFlake®.

The modelled life of mine (LOM) spans 30 years.

NextSource announced the completion of construction of the processing plant and mining camp for the Molo Graphite Mine in February 2023. The company initiated commissioning of the mine in March 2023.

Molo deposit location details

The Molo deposit is located around 160km southeast of Madagascar’s administrative capital of Toliara. The site is approximately 13km northeast of Fotadrevo village and 220km of Fort Dauphin.

Overall, the project encompasses an area of 308.6km2 including 790 claims.

The deposit can be accessed via a network of seasonal secondary roads radiating outward from Fotadrevo. The village has a road system that leads to Toliara as well as an all-weather airstrip.

Geology and Mineralisation

Molo is situated in the Bekily block of southern Madagascar with the deposit occurring in regional Ampanihy Shear Zone.

The project area is underlain by supracrustal and plutonic rocks of late Neoproterozoic age. The supracrustal rocks include migmatitic quartzo-feldspathic gneiss, marble, chert, quartzite, and amphibolite gneiss, while the metaplutonic rocks include migmatitic feldspathic gneiss of monzodioritic to syenitic composition, biotite granodiorite, and leucogranite.

The surface geology is dominated by resistant ridges of graphitic schist and graphitic gneiss. It also features fracture-lined vanadium mineralisation, as well as abundant graphitic schist float.

The deposit hosts various zones of mineralised graphitic gneiss, with a barren footwall composed of garnetiferous gneiss.

Graphitic gneiss is the host rock of the mineralised zones.

More than 300km of linear graphite mineralisation has also been identified in the area surrounding Molo, creating expansion opportunities.

Molo graphite project reserves

According to the Molo Feasibility Study, effective May 2019, the total Measured and Indicated Resource of the mine is estimated to be 100.37 million tonnes, grading at 6.27% carbon.

Inferred Resource stands at 40.91 million tonnes, grading at 5.78% carbon.

The mine is estimated to contain proven and probable reserves of 22.44 million tonnes grading 7.02% graphitic carbon.

Mining and ore processing

The Molo deposit’s surficial, lateral expanse and the massive nature make it suitable for open-pit mining methods.

The conventional open pit mining activities will involve the use of small to medium sized mining equipment such as 20tonne dump trucks, a 2m3 excavator and an 8m3 Front End Loader.

In the first phase, the ore processing facility will have a throughput capacity of 240 kilotonnes annually at a nominal head grade of 8.05% C(t) to produce 17 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of final graphite concentrate.

In Phase II, the plant will process up to 720,000 tpa of ore to produce 45,000 tpa of SuperFlake® concentrate.

The ore processing circuit comprises three crushing units which include jaw crushing in the primary circuit, followed by secondary cone crushing and tertiary cone crushing.

This is followed by primary milling and screening, graphite recovery by froth flotation and concentrate upgrading circuit by attritioning, and graphite product and tailings effluent handling unit operations.

The crusher circuit as well as the milling and flotation circuits are designed to operate 365 days per annum for 24 hours per day.

The primary milling followed by rougher flotation and flash flotation recovers graphite to concentrate from the main stream. The recovered concentrate is then passed through the primary, fine-flake and attritioning cleaning circuits to get an estimated final product grade of above 94% C(t).

The thickened final concentrate is pumped to a filter press for dewatering and then the filter cake is stockpiled. The dried concentrate is screened into four size fractions and then the different product sizes are bagged and readied for shipping.


The Phase I development will include the construction of an open pit mine, a processing plant and all supporting infrastructure including water, fuel, power, tailings, buildings and permanent accommodation.

The first phase will also use a hybridised power solution (solar + battery energy storage system). This will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 11,300 tonnes/year.

Other works will include raw water supply, sanitation for the plant, permanent camp, storm water control and management, permanent buildings and dumps among others.

Contractors involved

In 2014, SRK Consulting conducted the geotechnical investigation of the project.

The mining scope of the 240ktpa Feasibility Study was conducted by DRA Global.

The Molo Feasibility Study, effective May 2019, was prepared by a combined technical team that included experts from Caracle Creek International Consulting, GCS Water and Environment, Globesight, SGS Lakefield, Metpro, EPOCH, Erudite Projects and EVH Consulting among others.

The metallurgical test work for the project was performed by SGS Canada Metallurgical Services.

In 2022, NextSource Materials announced the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for an enhanced Phase II expansion of Molo Graphite Mine Project. The study was conducted by South African engineering and consulting firm Erudite Strategies.

Erudite Strategies also secured the engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) contract for the project in March 2021.

In November 2021, independent power producer CrossBoundary Energy won a contract to supply solar-thermal energy to power the operations of its Molo graphite mine.

Offtake Agreement

In May 2021, NextSource signed an offtake agreement with international trading and services company thyssenkrupp Materials Trading for the sale of 35,000tpa of SuperFlake® graphite concentrate from Molo mine.

The ten-year agreement carries an automatic five-year extension.