Gratomic Inc. [GRAT-TSXV; CBULF-OTC; CB81-FSE] has received confirmation from the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Namibia that the minister has issued mining licence No. 215 (ML215) for the company’s Aukam graphite property located 120 miles from the Port of Luderitz, southern Namibia.
The licence covers base and rare metals, industrial minerals, and precious metals. The licence area falls within the proximity of the Aukam processing plant and the graphite-bearing shear zone for a total of 5,002 hectares. Securing the mining licence is a critical step toward moving the Aukam mine into commercial production.
The company has completed eight months of pilot testing on historically mined product and conducted an internal study on the efficiency of the pilot processing facility on this material. Through rigorous testing and adjustments to the plant, Gratomic can now produce a concentrate of up to 98% graphitic carbon. Management has subsequently decided to build a 20,000-tonne-per-annum processing plant. To date, 90% of construction is complete. Upon completion of the remaining 10%, the company will initially start processing material from historical workings left at the surface when the mine last operated in 1974.
The company has recently appointed Dr. Ian Flint to complete a Preliminary Economic Assessment on the Aukam processing plant. The study, its recommendations and their subsequent implementation will ensure the scale up of the existing pilot plant to a commercial-scale processing facility that will provide the desired concentrate grades and production rates.
With respect to site exploration, in the coming months diamond drilling will resume at Aukam graphite. The drilling will be conducted utilizing company-owned drilling equipment, focusing on areas proximal to graphite mineralization, depicted by previous diamond drilling, underground excavation and surface outcrop sampling. The drill targeting will be systematic with the expectation of producing a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate.
Arno Brand, President and CEO, stated: “We are thrilled to receive the official mining licence for the Aukam graphite mine in Namibia. This is a monumental milestone for Gratomic, which took an extensive amount of effort to accomplish. Once the funding is secured, Gratomic will be able to move into the commercialization phase of development.”
Gratomic is an advanced materials company focused on mine-to-market commercialization of graphite products, most notably high-value graphene-based components for a range of mass-market products. It has a joint venture collaboration with Perpetuus Carbon Technology, a leading European manufacturer of graphenes, to use Aukam graphite to manufacture graphene products for commercialization on an industrial scale.