Expanded Scoping Study Confirms Malawi Rutile/Graphite Project Credentials
Sovereign Metals’ expanded scoping study on the target list for Kasiya, Malawi confirmed that the project will be one of the largest and lowest cost natural rutile and natural graphite producers in the world with a significantly lower carbon footprint than current alternatives, the company reports.
In April, Sovereign announced a new Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant mineral resource estimate for Kasiya, which confirmed the project to be the largest deposit of rutile (titanium dioxide) in the world and one of the largest deposits of flake graphite in the world.
The expanded study indicates a considerable increase in net present value (NPV) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization compared to the initial 2021 scoping study, with lower operating costs for a relatively increase low capital expenditure until the first production.
It also presents the potential for Sovereign to become a major producer in the natural rutile and graphite markets, with stable production of 265,000 t of rutile and 170,000 t of graphite with a mine life of 25 years.
The study highlights the low capital costs for the first production due to the quality of the existing infrastructure available, offering considerable cost reductions and offering options and scalability.
It also highlights the low operating costs and high margins due to the size of the deposit, zero stripping rate of soft and friable high-grade mineralization from surface, ease of mining, conventional processing, location of the deposit and low transportation costs.
The study outlines favorable market fundamentals as rutile and natural graphite are considered critical raw materials for the US and EU based on economic importance and supply risk.
He points out that the market for natural rutile is in structural deficit, with current global supply estimated to decline by 45% over the next three years, with demand for graphite expected to increase significantly while production of electric vehicles is expected to increase 12 times. by 2040.
The study also indicates several natural environmental, social and governance (ESG) benefits for Kasiya, including a considerable reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to alternatives, and considerable social and economic benefits for Malawi.
“The expanded scoping study demonstrates that Kasiya is a Tier 1 mining project, the largest natural rutile resource and one of the largest graphite resources in the world.
“Both minerals are classified on the US and EU critical mineral lists and rutile is in extreme short supply of the market. In light of these factors, Kasiya is considered a highly strategic project with the potential to be a major supplier in the rutile and graphite markets,” says MD Dr Julian Stephens.
“The project benefits from existing high quality infrastructure and has inherent ESG benefits. Natural rutile has a much lower carbon footprint than other titanium feedstocks used in the pigment industry, and natural graphite is a key component of lithium-ion batteries, critical to decarbonizing the global economy.
“In addition, the vast majority of electricity for the planned Kasiya mining operation will be provided by hydroelectric and solar renewables, which will give the mine itself a very low carbon footprint,” he adds. .