Indongo, partners get graphite mining license

By Hilary Mare

LOCAL Mining businessman King Frans Indongo Jr. and his international partners Gratomic Inc have been granted a comprehensive mining license (215) for their Aukam Graphite mine project situated in the southern part of Namibia.

The mining license granted by the ministry of mines and energy is for 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 5002 hectares.

“Securing the mining licence is a critical step towards moving the Aukam Mine into commercial production,” the company said.

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 percent Cg.

Management has subsequently decided to build a 20 000 tonne per annum processing plant. To date, 90 percent of construction is complete. Upon completion of the remaining 10 percent, 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 an NI 43-101 resource estimate,” further stated the company.

Arno Brand, President and CEO of the company said:  “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.”

No mineral resources, let alone mineral reserves demonstrating economic viability and technical feasibility, have been delineated on the Aukam Property. The company is not in a position to demonstrate or disclose any capital and/or operating costs that may be associated with the processing plant.

“The company advises that it has not based its production decision on even the existence of mineral resources let alone on a feasibility study of mineral reserves, demonstrating economic and technical viability, and, as a result, there may be an increased uncertainty of achieving any particular level of recovery of minerals or the cost of such recovery, including increased risks associated with developing a commercially mineable deposit.

“Historically, such projects have a much higher risk of economic and technical failure. There is no guarantee that production will begin as anticipated or at all or that anticipated production costs will be achieved.

“Failure to commence production would have a material adverse impact on the Company’s ability to generate revenue and cash flow to fund operations. Failure to achieve the anticipated production costs would have a material adverse impact on the Company’s cash flow and future profitability,” the company said.