Montreal-based Lomiko Metals has submitted its graphite samples from its Le Loutre graphite mine to three independent laboratories and has received positive results.
The testing is being used to determine the upgrading potential of the graphite flotation concentrate for processing, confirming the plant flowsheet for the prefeasibility study, and evaluating the production of spherical graphite for anode battery applications.
Lomiko produced 1.8 kilogramme of graphite flotation concentrate in its metallurgical programme last year. The company divided this into two samples, sending them to the Corem lab in Quebec and ProGraphite in Germany for characterisation and purification testing.
The lab results show that Le Loutre graphite may be suitable for battery applications, and is currently suitable for markets including refractories, fire retardants, crucible, and friction products.
At Corem, the concentrated was subjected to chemical purification trials, and was upgraded from 98.4% C(t) to more than 99.9% C(t).
ProGraphite tests showed that the flotation concentrate had a well-balanced size distribution. The lab found graphitisation to be over 98%, though most battery graphite needs to be more than 99% to be usable.
The tests indicate that La Loutre graphite can be upgraded to battery anode purity levels without aggressive leach using hydrofluoric acid, Lomiko said. The company plans to undertake additional work to optimise purification of the graphite.
Results from SGS Lakefield, which has received approximately 1,000 kg of ore sample, are expected to be received in the fall.
Lomiko will also begin its infill and step-out drilling programme in mid-May, the company said.