Syrah gets first quarter under its belt

CBC Metal Time:Apr 22, 2021 18:23 Source:MINING WEEKLY

Graphite miner Syrah Resources produced 5000 t of natural graphite at its Balama operation, in Mozambique, during the three months to March, as production was restarted during the quarter.

Syrah in February announced its decision to restart production at Balama following a temporary suspension in production in March of last year, owing to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The miner told shareholders on Wednesday that the easing of the Covid-19 restrictions in Mozambique, as well as the strengthening natural graphite market conditions which prompted the restart decision, continued during the quarter.

Product quality and plant recovery are progressing according to the ramp-up plan, the ASX-listed company noted, with plant availability approaching 100%.

During the quarter under review, Syrah hired 63 additional personnel, who were almost exclusively former employees of the company.

Meanwhile, the company shipped 2 000 t of natural graphite during the quarter from product inventory, at a weighted average price of $567/t, with the miner saying it was seeing increasing customer inquiry and forward contracting across segments and geographies.

During the quarter under review, Syrah also installed and commissioned a commercial scale furnace at its Vidalia facility, in the US, to enable fully integrated production of active anode material (AAM) from the second quarter, with the same target specifications as toll treated AAM that has been produced from Vidalia anode precursor and dispatched to potential customers for qualification since the fourth quarter of last year.

Potential customers also continued to progress qualification of toll treated AAM from Vidalia.

The company completed front-end engineering design for the initial expansion of production capacity at Vidalia, confirming the assumptions in the December bankable feasibility study which found that 10 000 t/y of AAM could be produced through the expansion of existing plant and infrastructure at Syrah’s 25-acre industrial site.

The facility currently has a production capacity of 5 000 t/y of unpurified spherical graphite and 200 t/y of purified spherical graphite to battery specification.

A final investment decision on the construction of a 10 000 t/y AAM facility at Vidalia is expected in the second half of this year, subject to customer commitments and strategic or financial partnerships.

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