Battery Minerals Ltd. said Oct. 18 that a value engineering study for the Montepuez graphite project in Mozambique slashed CapEx to US$42.3 million, operating expenses to US$337 per tonne and the payback period to less than two years.
In the definitive feasibility study completed in February, preproduction CapEx was estimated at US$126 million, operating expenses at US$422 per tonne and a payback period of 4.75 years.
The revised study, commissioned in May, also estimated a lower annual graphite concentrate production of between 45,000 and 50,000 tonnes per annum, using graphite grading 12%.
The cost reductions stem from a combination of a staged production ramp-up, a smaller infrastructure footprint, a refined mine plan producing a higher head grade, adopting an owner-operator mining strategy, lower water consumption and increased recoveries supported by additional metallurgical and processing test work.
Battery Minerals will conduct additional drilling at the project in the coming weeks.