South Star Battery Metals estimates BamaStar at 22 Mt at 2.4% Cg, Alabama
South Star Battery Metals Corp. [STS-TSXV; STSBD-OTCQB] has completed its maiden mineral resource estimate (MRE) for the BamaStar graphite project located in Coosa County, Alabama, United States. The independent mineral resource estimate was prepared by Caracle Creek International Consulting Inc. in accordance with NI 43-101 standards.
Highlights: 520,000 tonnes of contained graphite with an open pit-constrained mineral resource estimate of 22 million tonnes (Mt) of inferred resources at an average grade of 2.4% graphitic carbon (Cg), based on a 1.1% cut-off grade. The estimate is based on 12 drill holes totalling 506 metres of HQ diamond drilling completed in 2022.
The mineral resource estimate confirms the significant potential of this historical mine with graphite mineralization open at depth and in both directions (northeast and southwest).
The mineral resource estimate and initial open-pit optimization confirms the deposit is amenable to open-pit mining operations with at-surface mineralization and low strip ratios;
The next drilling program (2,000-2,500 metres) is under contract and planned to begin in May 2023, to support an NI 43-101 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) planned for Q1 of 2024.
Richard Pearce, CEO, commented: “The BamaStar maiden mineral resource estimate is a fantastic result and confirms the potential for a significant deposit at this historical mine, with at-surface mineralization that should be amenable to open-pit mining techniques and low strip ratios. It’s one of two projects in the continental United States with a defined mineral resource estimate. The preliminary drilling program was designed to test limits and continuity, and the team successfully achieved those objectives. We have successfully completed our three-tonne pilot plant metallurgical testing program, confirming our process flowsheet and recoveries.
“We have contracts signed for the next drilling program expected to begin around May, 2023, and we are planning to get an NI 43-101 PEA [preliminary economic assessment] completed by Q1 of 2024. The PEA will present our strategic plan of two mines, each producing 50,000 tonnes per year of concentrates, feeding a centrally located, value-add plant in the southeast United States and producing active anode material for electric vehicles, as well as purified/micronized and expandable graphite products.
“South Star has two scalable assets in strategic, stable, mining-friendly jurisdictions and the team to build and operate them in a safe, responsible manner, in partnership with communities and stakeholders. It’s happening at the perfect time, when supply is constrained and demand is outstripping supply. This dynamic will be putting significant pressure on the graphite price in 2023 and for the foreseeable future. Santa Cruz will have the first new graphite production in the Americas since 1996 this year, and BamaStar is expected to be producing in 2027.”
South Star’s 100%-owned Santa Cruz graphite project, located in southern Bahia, Brazil, is the first of a series of industrial and battery metals projects that will be put into production. Brazil is the second-largest graphite-producing region in the world with more than 80 years of continuous mining.
South Star’s second project in the development pipeline is strategically located in Alabama in the centre of a developing electric vehicle, aerospace and defence hub in the southeastern United States. Trenching, phase 1 drilling, sampling, analysis and preliminary metallurgical testing have been completed. The testing indicates a traditional crush/grind/flotation concentration circuit that achieved grades of approximately 94% to 97% Cg, with approximately 86% recoveries. South Star is executing on its plan to create a multi-asset, diversified battery metals company with near-term operations in strategic jurisdictions.