Graphite is one of the most robust emerging resource markets in recent times. There is ample opportunity to get in with one Click to enlargejunior mining Company, which has persevered in making profound headway towards production on its Graphite asset in Namibia.
Gratomic Inc. is an advanced mining and exploration Company, focused on mine-to-market commercialization of graphite and graphite products. GRAT is distinct among its peers – it is an organization rapidly evolving from a junior to a fully commercialized mining Company. This is an important distinction in a market that has seen countless others try and fail. Gratomic has worked hard to move towards commercializing its assets in order to maximize shareholder value, which will allow for future growth.
GRAT’s flagship property, the Aukam Graphite Mine, is located in the mining-friendly jurisdiction of Namibia and is the only historical commercial graphite mine in the country. The property hosts a very unique high-grade vein-graphite which is easily processed into graphite concentrates of 97% + Cg without the aid of chemical or acid treatment, exhibiting the raw organic purity.
Gratomic was recently awarded a letter of preparedness by the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy to grant the Company its mining license (ML215). Where most companies would only start mine construction at this point in time, Gratomic has been able to complete 90% of construction of the Aukam Processing plant to date. This has been fully facilitated through equity financing without the accumulation of debt vehicles, which is a rare feat in this industry.
Gratomic is entering into a new phase of existence and is working to scale-up its operations to fulfill the first off-take and purchase orders with its key partners. Its graphite concentrate contains no sulphides, demonstrating the high quality and purity of the raw mineral. Gratomic is ready to capitalize on the market, which should be rewarding given that graphite sells anywhere from $1,500 - $3,000 per tonne, depending on purity and flake size distribution.
This dynamic Company has strategically structured a leadership team and Board of Directors that will add value and allow the Company to capitalize on the strengths of each individual. Just recently, Arno Brand has taken on the full role of President and CEO. With a decade of experience in the mining, financing and commodity brokering combined with his first-hand expertise and knowledge of Namibia, Brand is the ideal CEO candidate for Gratomic.
Gratomic has experienced several additional changes including the departure of Jackson Inwentash and Gerry Feldmand from the Board of Directors. The two new directors are Walter Luke and Alex Helmel. Walter Luke has a background in compliance regulations, telecommunications, and project management. Alex Helmel is an independent management consultant working with early stage venture companies. Each new Director brings experience and expertise, which will be beneficial to the team at Gratomic.
Finally, Mr. Ian Flint has officially rejoined the Gratomic team as the Mining and Processing Engineer. He had previously been an advisor to the Board, but the team is thrilled to have him on board and filling both roles. His knowledge and expertise in this industry is a valuable asset to have.
The Aukam Graphite Mine:
Located close to the Namibian port of Luderitz Bay, the Aukam property covers a historical vein graphite mine that consists of five adits and an open pit. The Company has conducted preliminary work over the last five years to better understand the quality and distribution of the graphite mineralization buried within. The team has come away with the understanding, through recent drilling initiatives, that there is significant potential to expand the mineralization beyond the old workings.
The Company has traced graphite occurrences over a 15 km strike length at surface and anticipates an aggressive drilling campaign, using its own drills, to unlock the potential resource that resides within.
For an in-depth look at what the project has to offer, the Company has offered a 2016 technical report on the Aukam Graphite deposit here. The Company is currently putting together an updated technical report including the operating costs of running the mine and processing plant.
In October 2019; Gratomic reported that it had completed the crushing and grinding circuit at the Aukam mine, with a capacity of up to 50 metric tonnes per hour. During the buildout, the Company also installed and set up the mine’s rougher, cleaner and scavenger flotation columns. The cumulative capacity of the columns combined with the rougher mixing tank and slurry line is initially 2.7 tonnes per hour.
Gratomic Inc. has put 178 tonnes of product through the existing pilot plant, which systematically increased the mineral’s grade to the commercially desirable 95% - 98% Cg (Carbon in Graphite) level. The team indicated that it could upgrade this material even further through air classification to over 99% Cg. Once the build-out is complete, the Company anticipates achieving production of 20,000 tonnes per annum.
With concentrates averaging 98.6%, Gratomic’s CEO Arno Brand stated in an interview with Stockhouse Editorial, that upscaling the graphite past 99% purity would not be a challenge, given the quality of the material coming out of the Aukam mine. He added that it would only take a few added steps of upgrading to get it to that level.
Namibia at a glance:
CEO Brand stated that the country’s government is very mining friendly and very pro-investor. It only took a swift two years for the Company to go from junior explorer to sitting on the verge of being a full mining operation.
Gratomic is in an advantageous situation with the Namibian government, as the Company adheres to stringent environmental standards. The Aukam mine is one of the few graphite projects around and the only one to have historical production on its side.
Demand for Africa’s graphite supply is surging, and many nations are ramping up their production to meet the increased demand from China for a variety of applications, most notably battery material for electric vehicles, laptops and tablets. According to data compiled by Roskill, during the first half of 2019 natural graphite exports from Africa to China rose by more than 170%.
Through the accomplishment of key milestones, Gratomic will become fully vertically integrated. Brand outlines below the five major steps necessary to attain this advantageous juncture.
1.Obtain mining license
2. Complete construction
3. Initiate full production
4. Fulfill orders
5. Branch out graphene business into added-value manufacturing
Accomplishing these milestones takes money, time and effort when attempting to build something of tangible value. Investors looking to capitalize on the graphite market should consider the Gratomic proposition for its long-game strategy, its unique operational jurisdiction, and the fact that this investment won’t be undervalued for long.
It has been a long road to get to where we are today, our hard work and efforts are shortly to be rewarded as we take the final steps to bring Aukam into Production – Arno Brand, President and CEO.