Archer Exploration has found potential alternative graphite refinement methods for the Campoona graphite deposit, north of Cleve.
The company undertook an investigation with Urbix Resources to seek out ways of reducing the company’s future costs and provide efficient, high-volume processing of the Campoona graphite, while still maintaining the quality.
Archer Exploration chief executive officer Dr Mohammad Choucair said the company was excited by the results.
“We look forward to continuing to explore pragmatic solutions with Urbix that will allow us to advance the development of our Campoona Graphite Project and unlock value for Archer’s products downstream where graphite is a critical feedstock material,” he said.
With further successful testing, the Urbix technology could provide Archer Exploration with an opportunity to toll process Campoona graphite in North America reducing the capital cost for the Sugarloaf graphite processing facility and reducing Archer’s environmental footprint on the Eyre Peninsula.
In an ASX announcement last week, the company said the preliminary results “provided encouragement for the continuing joint development” with Urbix.
Although, Archer Exploration executive chairman Greg English said the company did not know whether it would go ahead with the technology.
“We don’t know the process as it is still proprietary technology,” Mr English said.
“We don’t know all the costings, or whether we could use the process at Sugarloaf or if we would have to send the graphite over to America, it would depend on how cost effective it is.”
However, the Sugarloaf graphite processing facility will still go ahead regardless of where the refining takes place.
“It (the refining) is only part of the process, Sugarloaf will still need to go ahead for the processing of the ore into graphite,” Mr English said.
Mr English said if the refining process was moved, then employment would be affected with less staff needed at the Sugarloaf processing facility.
However, Mr English said the company did not know if they would end up using the process.
“Whether we use this process depends on what the process is and what kind of chemicals are used, as well as if the government will allow use to use the process here,” he said.
“But ultimately it comes down to how cost-effective it is, we still don’t know the costings, for all we know it may turn out to be more expensive.”
Mr English said Archer Exploration was still committed to getting all the environmental approvals and continuing with the project.