Working to Restart the High-Quality Aukam Graphite Project
This Gratomic (TSXV:GRAT) profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
Gratomic (TSXV:GRAT) is a resource exploration and development company focused on bringing the high-grade Aukam graphite project back into production. The Aukam property, which is located near the port of Luderitz in southern Namibia, hosts five underground adits that were mined between 1940 and 1974.
During past production at Aukam, five surface stockpiles were created at the time, with 73 composite samples taken from the lower three stockpiles assaying an average of 42 percent carbon as graphite (Cg). The stockpiles are ready to be processed and Gratomic intends to put them towards the initial feedstock for the first two years of production.
Based on this potential path to production, Gratomic Inc. believes it is on schedule to bring the Aukam project into production in Q4 of 2020. In anticipation of this milestone, Gratomic has been working to explore the Aukam project and improve its understanding of the graphite mineralization in the area. The company is led by a team of graphite experts and executives with lengthy experience working in Namibia, including CEO & President Arno Brand who has 12 years of experience working on major construction and mining projects in Africa.
Thanks to the progress made my Gratomic’s technical team, the company has been successful in upscaling the pure vein graphite found on the property into 99.9 percent Cg through the addition of air classification. Gratomic has tested its Aukam-based graphite in a number of high-value applications.
Through the development of the company’s flagship Aukam property, Gratomic aims to become a cleaner source of graphite for North American consumers, especially those in the electric vehicle industry. “Gratomic has entered into discussions with several carbon-to-battery experts with the intent to provide a tailored product for the battery market,” said CEO and President Arno Brand. The global graphite market is projected to grow to reach US$29.05 billion by 2020 according to projections by Markets and Markets.
Gratomic has secured an ML215 mining license from the Ministry of Mines and Energy in Namibia, covering base and rare metals, industrial minerals and precious metals. The license covers the Aukam processing plant and the graphite-bearing shear zone that has been previously identified on the property. Gratomic believes its ML215 license is a critical step on the path towards re-establishing commercial production at Aukam.
The Aukam project includes a total of four graphite exploration licenses, in addition to three stockpiles of lumps, fines and coarse-fines that were created from bulk sampling and screening programs conducted by Gratomic. The stockpiles are ready to be processed and could be used for the initial feedstock during the first two years of production. Gratomic has signed an off-take agreement with TODAQ which it anticipates will begin in November 2020 in order to fill the first purchase order of 1800 tonnes.
According to the Fraser Institute’s 2018 survey of mining companies, Namibia was the second-most friendly African mining jurisdiction in terms of its policy perception. Gratomic believes the country is both politically and economically stable while offering the optimal geology for mine development.
Gratomic’s Company Highlights
- Targeting the global graphite market, projected to grow to US$29.05 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 5.2 percent from 2017 to 2022
- High-grade Aukam project hosts crystalline vein graphite with grades between 3 and 81 percent carbon as graphite
- Successfully upscaled pure vein graphite at Aukam into 99.9 percent Cg through the addition of air classification
- Stockpiles at Aukam are ready to be used as initial feedstock in the first two years of production
- Off-take agreement at Aukam signed with TODAQ, including a first purchase order of 1800 tonnes
- Secured an ML215 mining license on the Aukam project which covers the Aukam processing plant and the graphite-bearing shear zone
- Aukam project benefits from nearby infrastructure including a paved railway and road to the port of Luderitz
- Namibia ranked as the second-best jurisdiction in terms of policy perception according to the 2018 Fraser Institute’s annual survey
Gratomic’s Aukam Graphite Project
Gratomic’s flagship Aukam graphite project is located in southern Namibia, near the local port of Luderitz which is only 90 minutes away. The Aukam graphite project comprises four exploration licenses and one mining license on the property. The Aukam graphite project is a high-grade crystalline vein graphite asset with grades between 3 percent carbon as graphite and 81 percent carbon as graphite recovered from drilling, sampling and bulk sampling.
The Aukam project hosts visible surface graphite that has been identified over 15 kilometers of strike. In 2019 Gratomic began consulting with processing experts in Toronto in order to help produce batches of battery-grade graphite. The company has named Phu Sumika (PSK) as its exclusive marketing agent in continental Europe for the sale of graphite concentrate. Gratomic has delivered samples grading 92 percent, 97 percent, 99 percent and 99.9 percent to be tested for a variety of uses. Gratomic intends to pursue an environmentally-friendly method of graphite processing at the Aukam project.
Gratomic’s Aukam Processing Plant
In July 2020 Gratomic began shipping the final pieces of equipment for the Aukam processing plant to Namibia. Following the shipment, Gratomic is expected to complete the requisite onsite preparations for the plant before completing the construction of the mechanical system required to bring the plant into the commissioning phase.
Manhattan Engineering, based in Johannesburg, has been contracted to complete the structural and civil engineering designs including the platforms and foundations required to install the final pieces of equipment at the Aukam site. The custom drier and remaining equipment are expected to be prepared together then driven by truck to the Aukam site.
Gratomic’s Management Team
Arno Brand—CEO & President
Mr. Brand is a Namibian entrepreneur with 12 years of experience working on major construction and mining projects in Africa. As an experienced commodity trader and broker, Arno has been involved in numerous public transactions and company financings.
Armando Farhate—Chief Operations Officer & Head of Graphite Marketing & Sales
Mr. Farhate’s prior experience in the planning, engineering, research and development, processing, project management, sales, and marketing areas of the graphite mining industry make him the ideal candidate to fill the position of C.O.O and Head of Graphite Marketing & Sales.
Mr. Roden, CPA CA, has more than 30 years of industry experience and has worked as Vice President of Finance/Chief Financial Officer with public and private companies in a broad range of industries including the mineral sector. His experience includes all aspects of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, IT implementations, tax, and business systems and process analyses and implementation.
Bill Johnstone—Legal Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Mr. Johnstone has been a partner at Gardiner Roberts LLP since February of 2005 practicing in the areas of securities and corporate law. He is the Practice Leader of the firm’s Securities Law Group. Mr. Johnstone has been practicing law for over thirty (30) years. He is also a director and/or officer of five other TSX Venture Exchange listed companies and three Canadian Securities Exchange-listed companies.
Mr. Luke is certified in professional project management with over 29 years of global experience directing large projects for many notable companies. His ventures have taken him to over 40 countries and has brought international recognition to numerous business developments worldwide. Walter will be leading the charge to ensure that compliance and corporate governance are effectively achieved.
Mr. Helmel is an independent management consultant, possessing specific expertise working with early-stage venture companies within the Canadian Capital Markets. Alex focuses on private to public market transitions, corporate governance, the development of senior management teams, and corporate growth strategies.
Steven Gray— Director
Mr. Gray is a geologist registered with the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (“APGO”). With more than 28 years of experience, he maneuvers effectively within the Resource Sector. He is Director and Managing Partner for a private mining company operating in Arizona, Director for a publicly traded Canadian based venture capital firm, and recently served as Vice President for a publicly traded minerals company. Mr. Gray provides consulting services related to underground and open-pit mine planning, scoping, and feasibility studies in Canada and abroad.
Dr. Ian Flint—Mining & Processing Engineer
Dr. Flint has more than 25 years’ experience in the graphite industry including more recent work in the growing field of graphene manufacture and commercialization. Dr. Flint’s experience includes process design, test work, pilot plants, equipment design, physical processing, and materials development. He has worked as a metallurgist, and/or director of more than 30 graphite/graphene projects worldwide. Dr. Flint holds a Ph.D. in mining and mineral processing engineering (2001) from the University of British Columbia and has more than 10 years of teaching mining engineering and graphite processing at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
*Disclaimer: This profile is sponsored by Gratomic Inc. (TSXV:GRAT). This profile provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Gratomic Inc., in order to help investors learn more about the company. Gratomic Inc. is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this profile.
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