The South Australian Government has formally granted a mineral lease for Lincoln Minerals’ Kookaburra Gully graphite project on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. The deposit hosts total indicated and inferred mineral resources of 2.2 million tonnes grading 15.1% total graphitic carbon (TGC).
South Australia’s Treasurer, Finance Minister, Minister for State Development and Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, Tom Koutsantonis, has confirmed the grant of ML 6460, of 300 hectares to Lincoln’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Australian Graphite, for a period of 21 years commencing on June 3, 2016.
The shallow but high grade resource for the Kookaburra Gully flake graphite deposit, located 35km northwest of Port Lincoln, extends to at least 125 metres in depth, and remains open at depth and along strike.
It also abuts the Lincoln-owned and historic Koppio graphite mine which as a second potential source for the Kookaburra Gully mine, adds an inferred resource of 1.85 million tonnes at a grade of 9.8% TGC into the overall project’s mining potential.
Lincoln is targeting an output of up to 40,000 tonnes per annum of high grade graphite concentrate from Kookaburra Gully for an initial mine life of at least seven years.
Lincoln’s chairman Yubo Jin said, “Our company is exceptionally pleased to have achieved this landmark step in the permitting process for the Kookaburra Gully graphite project. Kookaburra Gully is Australia’s highest grade flake graphite deposit and in the world’s top 10 deposits based on grade.
“The grant of ML 6460 is the key pivot point and milestone to ensure delivery of Lincoln’s transformation now from project explorer and developer to an emerging graphite producer, in an industry at the forefront of the growing global green energy market. It is also the de-risking step-change awaited by our potential project financiers and offtake customers to now elevate mine construction financing and operating negotiations to a level where commercial transaction outcomes can be achieved.
“Now that the mineral lease has been granted, Kookaburra Gully’s Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) can be finalised. A geotechnical and resource diamond drilling program, soil engineering test pits and establishment of a groundwater and surface water monitoring network were completed at the proposed mine site early in May and further engineering studies are in progress. Once the PEPR is approved, Lincoln will be in a position to commit to and commence project development at Kookaburra Gully.”
Managing director John Parker said, “Lincoln will now work closely with the Department of State Development, the District Council of Tumby Bay, the southern Eyre Peninsula community and other stakeholders throughout the PEPR preparation and approval process to facilitate its early completion, clearing the way for mine construction and production targeted to commence in 2017.”