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Syrah Keeps Increased Output in Sights

Syrah Keeps Increased Output in Sights

Graphite production from ASX-listed Syrah Resources’ Balama project  in Mozambique, has continued to increase as demand for the product escalates.

Graphite production in the three months to March reached 46 000 t, up from the 13 000 t produced in the December quarter, with Balama averaging around 15 000 t a month during the quarter.

Syrah told shareholders on Wednesday that maximum finished product inventory positions and the ongoing disruptions in the global container shipping market had prevented Balama from operating at a higher production rate.

C1 costs at Balama for the March quarter reached $464/t, compared with the C1 costs of $1 159/t reported in the December quarter, with the operation benefitting from fixed costs being spread over an increased production rate. The C1 costs are expected to continue to reduce as production increases beyond the 15 000 t/m rate, with improved shipping options and availability as improvement initiatives are imbedded, Syrah said.

The company has developed a major new logistics option to start breakbulk shipments through Pemba port, and its first spot breakbulk shipment of 10 000 t of natural graphite arrived in China in March. The company is scheduled two spot breakbulk shipments in the June quarter.

Syrah is also working with its container  shipping services provider to secure increased  container shipping capacity.

Following the end of the quarter, Syrah took a final investment decision for the installation  of a solar and battery hybrid power system  at Balama.

The project is expected to provide some 35% of Balama’s site power, and would reduce diesel consumed for power generation by some 35%. During peak daylight times, the system  would be able to supply all of Balama’s power  requirements.

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The solar battery system is expected to derive C1 cost savings of some $8/t of graphite, at a 15 000 t/m production rate.

Meanwhile, the Syrah board in February approved a final investment decision on the $176-million initial expansion of the Vidalia active anode material facility, in the US, to a 11 250 t/y production capacity.

Detailed engineering  and long-lead item procurement is well advanced and continuing in parallel with construction of the initial expansion project. Construction of the facility is targeted for completion in the June quarter of next year, and following commissioning, production is targeted for the September quarter of 2023. 

Mining Weekly

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