Infrastructure in the area is excellent, with good road access and the availability of high voltage power. Beowulf’s 100% owned subsidiary company Grafintec Oy holds an exploration permit Pitkäjärvi 1 ML2016:0040-02, which covers 407.45 ha. The permit is valid until 26.4.2024, with the possibility to extend.
During 2019, the Grafintec team produced an upgraded Mineral Resource Estimate (“MRE”) for the Aitolampi project, with a global Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 26.7 million tonnes at 4.8 per cent Total Graphitic Carbon for 1,275,000 tonnes of contained graphite, reported in accordance with the JORC Code, 2012 edition.
Mineral Resource Estimate for Aitolampi as at 28 August 2019
|Classification||Mt||TGC %||S %||Density (t/m3)||Contained graphite (kt)|
|Indicated + Inferred||26,7||4,8||4,7||2,81||1.275|
The Aitolampi graphite schists occur on a fold limb within a high metamorphic quartz-feldspar-biotite gneiss (QFB) host rock and are coincidental with an extensive electro-magnetic (EM) anomaly defined by an airborne survey undertaken by Geological Survey of Finland (GTK). Beowulf has carried out its own additional geophysical survey, utilising Slingram horizontal loop electromagnetic (HLEM) and other geophysical methods, to provide a rapid and initial assessment of the project for potential sub-surface graphite mineralisation.
The results of the surveys were very encouraging and metallurgical test-work carried out on composited grab samples. Aitolampi was quickly considered by Beowulf’s geologists to be the most prospective for follow-up exploration by drilling.
In 2019, the Company announced an upgraded JORC compliant global Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 26.7 million tonnes at 4.8 per cent TGC for 1,275,000 tonnes of contained graphite. The Mineral Resource was estimated by CSA Global PTY Ltd (CSA Global) of Australia.
The western zone is higher grade with a reported Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 9.8 million tonnes (Mt) at 5% TGC for 490,000 tonnes of contained graphite. The Eastern Zone has an Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 9.5 Mt at 4.1% TGC for 388,000 tonnes of contained graphite.
Aitolampi Resource Estimate by mineralisation zone:
|Zone||Classification||Mt||TGC %||S %||Density (t/m3)||Contained graphite (kt)|
Indicated + Inferred
Indicated + Inferred
|TOTAL||Indicated + Inferred||26,7||4,8||4,7||2,81||1.275|
All reported mineralisation is contained within the two graphitic zones, the eastern and western lenses. The drilling has confirmed a mineralised strike length of at least 525m for the eastern zone and 530m for the western zone. Mineralisation for both zones remains open along strike and at depth. A number of EM conductive zones still remain untested by drilling.
Three composited quarter drill core samples of approximately 10kg each were dispatched in 2017 to SGS Minerals Services in Canada for metallurgical test-work. The following results were achieved:
- Superior metallurgical response from all three samples compared with grab samples from outcrops analysed previously
- The process flowsheet used was simple, yet proved to be very efficient
- The combined grades ranged from 96.8% to 97.5% Ct across the three samples
- All three samples responded similarly in terms of concentrate grades of the various size fractions
- The -400 mesh size fractions also produced high grades ranging from 95.0% to 97.8% per cent Ct
Concentrates from the SGS testwork conducted in 2017 were sent to ProGraphite Gmbh (ProGraphite) for purification and characterisation tests. The following results were achieved:
- Alkaline purification produced 99.86 per cent Total Carbon (“C(t)”) for +100-mesh concentrate and 99.82 per cent C(t) for -100-mesh concentrate.
- Results from acid purification were also promising and reached 99.6 per cent C(t) for the +100-mesh and 99.41 per cent C(t) for the -100-mesh concentrate.
- The alkaline and acid purification results indicate that, with some process optimisation, Aitolampi concentrates may meet the purity specification of 99.95 per cent C(t) required for the lithium ion battery market.
- Aitolampi graphite shows high crystallinity, with the degree of graphitisation measuring approximately 98 per cent, which is almost perfect crystallinity, an important prerequisite for high tech applications, such as lithium ion batteries.
- Volatiles are low, which is an attractive product attribute in many applications, including refractories, lubricants, crucibles, and foundries.
- Specific Surface Area (“SSA”) is comparable to that of high-quality flake graphite from China.
- Oxidation behaviour is comparable with Chinese graphite of the same flake size, used for refractories, and other high temperature applications.
ProGraphite has recently also completed a purification and spheronisation programme using concentrates from Aitolampi. In addition, battery tests on Aitolampi purified micronized and purified spheronised graphite are being completed at the Battery Materials Laboratory in Kokkola, Finland.
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