Mineral Commodities Limited are expected to restart ground test work from June 18 following a positive pre feasibility study for the proposed graphite mine at Munglinup.
The company’s Business Development manager Daniel Hastings said the study’s findings were in line with the initial economic analysis, with the mine set to create 70 jobs as part of the day-to-day operations as well as contract mining labour.
“We ran a number of scenarios in the pre feasibility study and there was a pretty good case made that contract mining would be the preferred option,” he said.
“I have spoken with a number of earthmoving, material handling contractors and they’re all pretty keen to keep it local as well because it keeps their costs down.”
Mr Hastings said that although the company were still working on export and downstream value adding options, they had begun a logistics project to look at shipping and exporting internationally out of Esperance.
The company expect to appoint a community liaison for the project in late June and will speak with the traditional land owners group and other stakeholders.
“We are aiming to apply for our environmental permits and approvals towards the end of August,” he said.
“Provided we don’t trigger a formal review under the EPA, which we believe we won’t, we should have everything in hand by the end of the year and we’ll be looking to begin construction pretty much immediately.”
Mr Hastings said he hoped to see an increase in activity around January next year leading to commissioning before the end of 2019.
“We really need to get the project up and going to take advantage of this coming boom in battery materials and I think WA is starting to position itself very well to take advantage of this energy revolution,” he said.
With a battery materials revolution on the horizon, Mr Hastings said he believed there needed to be more policy work and promotion of investment in WA, especially downstream investment.
“It is not something that requires money, you don’t really need subsidies or anything like that, you just need stable policy framework and good promotion,” he said.
“We need to ensure that WA and Australia as a whole are positioned to take advantage of this, this boom that is coming.
“If we don’t get it right in the next three years, we may very well be left behind.”