Valence Industries advises that recommissioning of its Uley graphite manufacturing facilities near Port Lincoln in South Australia is progressing as planned. Initial production is expected to begin in late March 2014, ahead of schedule.

“Our program of immediate production allows us to move rapidly to sales agreements to meet customer demand for our high quality graphite. Valence has proven graphite production, proven graphite products and direct relationships with graphite customers. Valence will commence graphite deliveries in the second quarter of 2014,” says CEO and managing director Christopher Darby.

“Graphite marketing requires direct relationships with customers to understand their individual needs and provide product to their exact specifications. Signing generic offtake agreements is not very relevant for graphite sales into high value markets, and means little where it is not backed up by proven graphite production. Valence is moving into immediate production of a range of graphite products coordinated with our active direct customer engagement programs.”

The re-commissioning and upgrading of the existing graphite manufacturing plant is well advanced and proceeding in line with the company’s plans. All key pieces of equipment required for the internal processing circuit are either refurbished, installed, delivered or are scheduled to arrive at site.

The extensive program of work in the weeks since listing the company on January 6, 2014 includes refurbishment of pump systems; refurbishment of collection systems; reconstruction of holding tanks and stacks; reconfiguration and refurbishment of centrifuges; programmed delivery of gas train and bullets; reconfiguration and refurbishment of mills; screen and fan refurbishment; and associated structural and civil works.

The extensive refurbishment work has been supported by the program for delivery of Valence’s re-designed primary crushing circuit. This advanced system has been specifically developed for the company and is being readied for deployment.

At site the installation area is being prepared for delivery with the deconstruction of obsolete elements and the sale of the resulting scrap metal. This primary crushing plant is now scheduled for delivery to the site and will start its work on crushing and output of slurry for graphite production.

With the rapid progress under this work program, reprocessing of existing graphite stockpiles is planned to commence in late March with pre-processed material and then run of mine stockpiles.

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