Gratomic Inc. ("GRAT" or the "Company") (TSXV:GRAT)(OTC Pink:CBULF)(FRANKFURT:CB81)(WKN:A143MR) is pleased to announce the arrival of Fanie Barnard to its Aukam Graphite project in Namibia. Mr Barnard has been appointed to complete onsite construction and oversee the concrete work on the Aukam Graphite processing plant which is expected to be completed by the end of this month
Mr Barnard has steel and concrete experience on previous projects with many high-profile companies including Glencore and Anglo American. He has been tasked to supervise rebar and baseplate installations and the pouring of concrete foundations. Fanie Barnard is leading the final phase of foundation construction for the Rotary Drier, Filter Press, Cyclone, Material Hopper, Material Thickener Tank and Product Thickener Tank.
Gratomic would also like to report that a local company, Pro Edge Steel, in Keetmanshoop is responsible for designing and supplying various structural base plates and steel frames. Pro Edge has delivered the first order of steel structures to the Aukam Processing site and we expect further delivery of the steel frames in short order.
Excavation work for the multiple foundations on site was completed in late October. In total, Company employees excavated approximately 414 tonnes of material. This work will accommodate the multiple tanks and final pieces of equipment for the Company's custom designed Graphite Processing Plant with a design capacity of 20,000 tpa. The Processing Plant has been designed on a modular basis with an over-engineered front and back end to accommodate easy future expansion through the inclusion of added columns and mixing tanks.
With excavation work completed on Aukam, the team has begun installing concrete forms and rebar in preparation for the final construction phase. The structural base plates and hold-down bolts are being carefully positioned into the concrete foundations during the pouring process. Once the concrete has been properly cured, the equipment structures and support frames will be assembled and installed onto the new foundations.
Fanie Barnard, and Gratomic's Aukam team have begun work on the installation of rebar and pouring of concrete on all required foundations. The rotary dryer foundation is the first equipment foundation being poured on the expansion of the Company's Graphite Processing Plant. The custom built rotary dryer consists of 6 steel frames, a dryer inlet frame, inlet support frame, main support frame, outlet frame, drive frame and motor-gearbox frame.
The mounting frames and rotary dryer will be installed and mounted once the concrete foundation has cured. The drive motor assembly and final hookups to the unit will then be completed, tested and calibrated upon plant commissioning. At 39 feet long and a drying capacity of 5 tonnes per hour, the rotary dryer will play a key role in the final processing phase of generating high quality graphite concentrate from Aukam.
The Company would like to provide an additional update on the progress made by the local masonry crew from Aus (see press release November 9th, 2020). The crew has now completed the construction work on the base frame of the water filtration and deionization unit.
Workers have completed the excavation work on the processing plant's settling reservoir. The excavation has been completely lined with a black plastic liner to prevent seepage of water. Concrete pouring of the foundation started this morning and has subsequently been completed. Workers will now start pulling up the six tier overflow settling reservoir walls which will be plastered with a chemical and water tight seal to further minimize seepage. When completed the reservoir will be filled with water and left to cure for 21 days allowing the cement to cure.
Gratomic would also like to provide an update on the graphite flotation circuit. Company workers recently disassembled and removed the components from the pilot processing facility. This equipment was utilized to generate the data sets required to engineer the 20,000 tonne per year processing facility at Aukam. Thenew mixing tanks and vertical flotation columns were manufactured by Pro Edge Steel and will be installed on the existing sump that was utilized for the pilot facility. The sump was originally designed to a size that will allow it to fully contain all the water from the new six commercial sized columns with a minimum free board of 4 feet, if all of them were to fail at the same time. This is another great example of the Company's capability to plan ahead for future development and make sure it is doing its part to sustain the environment in which it is working.
The Company wishes to advise that C.B Burger engineering has completed manufacturing the Material Hopper and Graphite Concentrate Chipper. The material hopper and chipper were designed by the company's engineering team alongside the manufacturing team from South Africa, C.B Burger Engineering. We would like to thank our Chief on-site geologist, Corne Coetser, for his agility in taking on this part of the processing plant and organizing the execution and build of these vital pieces of equipment.
The company designed the Material Hopper to hold up to 80 tonnes of graphite material and to act as a buffer to keep the processing plant running for up to 1 and a half days without flow disruption during maintenance. The Hopper will be fed continuously by the already constructed crushing and screening circuit of the processing plant. The material hopper was designed to feed directly into the rod mill with a horizontal screw conveyor using a VSD (variable speed drive) to control the material fed into the rod mill.
The custom designed Graphite Concentrate Chipper which will be fed by the filter press, is made from stainless steel to prevent any contamination of the Company's final product. The chipper has a capacity to handle up to 2.7 tonnes per hour of graphite concentrate that will feed directly into a supply hopper for the rotary dryer. With these last two equipment components completed and en-route to site, Gratomic is pleased to advise that all components for the Aukam custom built processing plant are now manufactured and assembly will be completed over the upcoming weeks.
"With multiple skilled crews now working on-site, we could not be more proud of the progress being made on our custom designed processing plant. We would also like to thank our very supportive shareholders and investors, who have given Gratomic the opportunity to bring the Aukam graphite deposit back to life." says President and CEO, Arno Brand.
"The custom built plant, carefully designed to optimize the processing of the unique material we expect to obtain from the Aukam deposit, is one of the Company's best competitive advantages," says COO & Head of Graphite Marketing and Sales, Armando Farhate.
About Gratomic Inc.
Established in 2014, Gratomic is an advanced materials company focused on low-cost mine to market commercialization of carbon-neutral, Eco-friendly, high purity vein graphite and is set to become a key player in EV and Renewable Resource supply chains. Gratomic Inc. is a leader among peers, anticipating full operational capabilities in late 2020 and aiming to transition to an open pit operation as early as the end of 2021.
Gratomic is in the process of solidifying its development plans for micronization and spheronization of its clean Aukam graphite. This significant milestone is a small, additional step in the Company's existing Eco-friendly processing cycle and will allow its naturally high purity graphite to meet ideal North American battery grade standards for use in Li-ion battery anodes.
The Company promises to deliver mine-to-market traceability and guaranteed quality control. This will be accomplished by providing documented tracking on all graphite generated at its flagship Aukam Graphite Project. The tracking will begin at Aukam and will be verified at every stage during transport.
Two off-take purchase agreements are currently held for lump-vein graphite sourced from Gratomic's Aukam Graphite Project in Namibia, Africa. Fulfillment of the contracts is slated to begin in 2021. The agreements exist with TODAQ and Phu Sumika.
TODAQ is an innovative tech company and will partner with Gratomic on its mine-to-market commodity tracking.
Phu Sumika is a large global graphite supplier to battery and lubrication companies.
Gratomic Inc. is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol GRAT.
For more information: visit the website at www.gratomic.ca or contact:
Arno Brand at email@example.com or 416 561-4095
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"Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release."
No mineral resources, let alone mineral reserves demonstrating economic viability and technical feasibility, have been delineated on the Aukam Property. The Company is not in a position to demonstrate or disclose any capital and/or operating costs that may be associated with the processing plant.
The Company advises that it has not based its production decision on even the existence of mineral resources let alone on a feasibility study of mineral reserves, demonstrating economic and technical viability, and, as a result, there may be an increased uncertainty of achieving any particular level of recovery of minerals or the cost of such recovery, including increased risks associated with developing a commercially mineable deposit.
Historically, such projects have a much higher risk of economic and technical failure. There is no guarantee that production will begin as anticipated or at all or that anticipated production costs will be achieved.
Failure to commence production would have a material adverse impact on the Company's ability to generate revenue and cash flow to fund operations. Failure to achieve the anticipated production costs would have a material adverse impact on the Company's cash flow and future profitability
Steve Gray, P. Geo. and a Director of the Company has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information in this press release and is the Company's "Qualified Person" as defined by National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS:
This news release contains forward-looking statements, which relate to future events or future performance and reflect management's current expectations and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements reflect management's current beliefs and are based on assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company. Investors are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause future results to differ materially from those expected. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and, except as required under applicable securities legislation, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements and by those made in our filings with SEDAR in Canada (available at www.sedar.com.
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