Syrah declares commercial output at Balama graphite project in Mozambique

Syrah Resources has declared commercial production at its majority-owned Balama graphite operation in Mozambique.

“Following a review of monthly operating metrics, the board has determined that the criteria to achieve commercial production, as set out in the 2017 annual report, have been met with effect from January 1, 2019,” the company said.

During the December quarter, natural graphite production came in at 33,000 t, with full-year (2018) output of 104,000 t in line with the company’s updated guidance. Achieved average graphite recovery of 70% in the most recent quarter, was some way up on the September quarter average of 53%.

Shaun Verner, Managing Director and CEO of Syrah, said: “The declaration of commercial production represents a key milestone for Syrah, reflecting the significantly improved production consistency and strong recovery improvements.

“We continue to implement further operational improvements in ongoing ramp up, to bring recoveries in line with our medium and longer term targets.”

Syrah will provide further details of the December quarter performance in its quarterly activities report, to be released on January 3, 2019.

The 2 Mt/y Balama project has a nameplate capacity of 350,000 t/y of graphite concentrate. It is an open-pit operation with processing consisting of crushing, grinding, flotation, filtration, drying, screening and bagging.