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AMN - MADAGASCAR: Top graphite processing engineer for Molo

NextSource Materials Inc has secured the services of leading graphite metallurgist and process engineer Oliver Peters to oversee commissioning of the Molo graphite mine in Madagascar. He will relocate to Madagascar for the commissioning period.

Oliver Peters will also act as the company’s principal process engineering consultant for phase 1 of the Molo mine.

He is principal metallurgist and president of Metpro Management Inc and also serves as the senior metallurgical and process consultant at SGS Minerals (Lakefield) Canada, where he oversees all graphite process development work for SGS.

To date, Oliver Peters has directed over 12 pilot plant operations at SGS for graphite projects globally and was formerly a process engineer at DRA Global.

He has over 20 years of process engineering experience in Africa and Canada and was the head process engineer for NextSource’s 2015 pilot plant operation at SGS. This was the largest known pilot plant operation completed by any junior graphite company globally to date.

More than 200 tonnes of Molo ore was processed at SGS, creating 13 tonnes of high quality, SuperFlake® graphite concentrate that was used to develop the process flowsheet for the Molo mine and enabled NextSource to provide representative run-of-mill bulk samples for evaluation by graphite offtakers.

Oliver Peters was instrumental in NextSource achieving a very high-quality graphite concentrate. The SuperFlake® graphite concentrate can achieve 98% carbon purity with standard mineral processing (flotation), has excellent thermal expansion, can be easily upgraded to 99.97% purity (battery grade) and contains no deleterious substances.

The concentrate also has excellent flake size distribution that is well above the global average, with 46.4% being classified as +80 (large), +65 (extra large) and +48 (jumbo) mesh in flake size. Specifically, 23.6% of SuperFlake® graphite concentrate is +48 mesh and greater in size.

Independent testing of the pilot plant material by various potential offtakers and graphite end-users has confirmed that the Molo SuperFlake® graphite concentrate meets or exceeds quality requirements for all major end markets for natural flake graphite - anode material for lithium-ion batteries, refractories and specialty graphite foils. It has also been verified for graphene ink applications.

Oliver Peters will first oversee and approve the Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) stage of phase 1 of the Molo mine. This will have a production rate of 17,000 tonnes per annum of SuperFlake® graphite concentrate and a mine life exceeding 30 years.

Phase 1 will be entirely constructed offshore to European standards with a build-assembly time of just six months. The processing plant then will be 'turned on' and operationally tested for a one month period.

After a successful FAT, the Molo processing plant will then be dismantled into 35 modules and shipped to site where the modules will be re-assembled within a one-month period, for a total time of only nine months from start of construction to production.