Global mining corporation Mineral Commodities Limited will arrive in Esperance next Thursday, February 22, to meet with Shire representatives and traditional land owners regarding the proposed Graphite Project in Munglinup.
The proposed mine, 105km north west of Esperance, was first announced in September of 2017.
The company have obtained a fully granted mining lease valid until August 2031, with a pre feasibility study due as early as March, 2018.
With an expected mine life of around nine years, the company predict day-to-day operations to create more than 60 jobs.
Business Development manager Daniel Hastings said the sediment-hosted graphite deposit was of a very high grade, making the site particularly attractive.
“The site has an exposed surface, so the material that we will be mining out has already been weathered and oxidised and it is very cheap to mine,” he said.
“It is not a large deposit, at the moment, it is only about around 3.2 million tonnes and averages over 15 per cent graphitic carbon.
“The deposit is open in all directions, so we’re pretty confident that that resource is going to grow in the next round of expiration drilling.”
Once production begins, Mr Hastings said Western Australia could be the only jurisdiction in the world to produce all metals necessary for battery production.
“We can’t think of another country that has the ‘full sweep’ and it makes the state a very attractive destination for battery manufacturers in the future, given they’d be able to source all components from the same very desirable jurisdiction in terms of investment.”
Given the history of mining in Ravensthorpe, the company’s executive chairman Mark Caruso said there would be an emphasis and impetus for skilled tradespeople within the area as a preference.
“The shutting down of Ravensthorpe has had a significant impact and this is a project that has the capacity to generate 60 plus jobs for transport and the support service that follows,” he said.
“We understand that mining is an intrinsic part of the state’s economy and it has key social and economic dividends and, all in all, the sense we get is support.
“It’s a world class resource, 100 kilometres from a Port, it’s on a granted mining reserve and it’s geologically a very easy deposit.
“We would be hoping to make a decision within the next three to six months.”