Lincoln Minerals, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Australian Graphite Limited (AGL), has formally lodged a Mining Lease Application (MLA) to develop a graphite mine at AGL’s Kookaburra Gully project on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
The lodgement follows completion of the review process by SA’s Department of State Development (DSD) of Lincoln’s draft Mining Lease Proposal (MLP) – the main supporting documentation behind the MLA.
Lincoln’s managing director Dr John Parker says, “Lodgement of the MLA is a milestone for Kookaburra Gully and Lincoln Minerals in every sense. It means the backbone of work needed to elevate this project from exploration and assessment through to where we believe it can now be a viable new mining operation in Australia’s graphite sector, has been realized. It is the benchmark from which we can now springboard real-time project financing, development and offtake agreements.”
Kookaburra Gully is one of Australia’s premier graphite deposits with total indicated and inferred mineral resources of 2.20 million tonnes grading an average 15.1% TGC (Total Graphitic Carbon). It ranks in the world’s top 10 graphite deposits based on grade and is close to water, electricity and an export port 35km away.
Marketing of Kookaburra Gully graphite will be facilitated by the newly established Qingdao International Graphite Exchange Centre Co of which Lincoln is a 25% owner along with Qingdao Hainaer Nanometer Technology Co (48%), Pleasant King Limited (25%) and FU Lei (2%).
The graphite exchange has been established in China as a graphite spot trading, settlement, storage, investment and financing platform. Not only is it proposed that Lincoln will promote its graphite and related products through this exchange to the rest of the world but Lincoln will also be able to share in other spot market trading of graphite in and out of China.
Qingdao is a very important port for international trade, located in the southeast part of Shandong Province, a short distance to Korea and Japan, and very close (less than 100km) to one of China’s major industrial graphite producing regions, the Pingdu region.
The proposed Kookaburra Gully mining lease will be about 300 hectares in size, although only about one third of that footprint will be directly impacted by mining operations. Subject to global graphite prices, a 7.5 year mine life is anticipated from an open pit mine approximately 700 metres long, 270 metres wide, and 90-110 metres in depth. The open-pit will partially fill with water after mining ceases to form a lake and surrounding areas will be re-vegetated and/or restored to farm land.
Kookaburra Gully’s infrastructure will include a processing plant to upgrade the graphite ore into high grade graphite concentrate at an annual rate of 25,000-55,000 tonnes. The enclosed processing plant, including grinding mill, will operate 24/7 but there will be no mining operations, including primary crushing, or transport operations at night.