Unveils Growth Strategy For European Graphite Assets
Talga Group Ltd (ASX:TLG) initiated a growth strategy across its graphite projects in Sweden towards expanding resource base amid surging electric vehicle and battery demand.
The company said access to suitable large-scale graphite mineral resources is key to Talga’s vertically integrated business model and the company’s Swedish deposits contain the largest and highest grade JORC Mineral Resources defined in Europe.
Considering the positive economics of the Vittangi Anode Project DFS based solely on the 2.3Mt Nunasvaara South Ore Reserve, and as only a fraction of the mapped graphite has been drill tested to date, Talga has commenced growth initiatives to fully define the extent of its graphite deposits and better align future development with increased global battery anode demand.
Managing Director, Mark Thompson, said that as part of this ongoing work, the company has updated the JORC Exploration Target estimate for the company’s flagship Vittangi Graphite Project.
“The building blocks of more sustainable transport and a cleaner environment include battery materials and components, such as Talga’s green graphite anodes,” Mr Thompson said.
“Recent customer feedback leads us to more fully define the true extent of our high-grade graphite resources in Sweden and explore the increased scale potential for global battery markets.
“By establishing this significant vertically integrated natural graphite anode business in Europe, we can clean up existing supply chains and be a positive high-technology addition to the regional economy.”
Mr Thompson said battery demand is rapidly increasing, with global battery manufacturing capacity in 2030 now set to exceed 3.8 tera-watt hours (TWh) per annum, requiring >4,600,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of graphite anode.
By 2040 Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecast total global Li-ion battery anode demand to exceed 8,400,000tpa.
The growth in battery manufacturing capacity is closely related to the growth in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and sales.
Mr Thompson said this is clearly evident in the EU, where EV sales rose rapidly during Q1 2021, recording an 88% increase on the previous year3. Europe is the world’s fastest growing region for Li-ion battery manufacturing and will require >750,000 tpa of new graphite anode supply by 20302. T
o better plan future development and expansion roadmaps, Talga has begun growth initiatives to define the greater tonnage potential of its Swedish natural graphite deposits. Vittangi Graphite Exploration Target Talga completed new ground electromagnetic geophysical (EM) surveys of graphite targets at Vittangi following the 2020 upgrade of the Vittangi graphite resource.
The new EM surveys focussed on extensions of mapped graphite striking under shallow cover, and strong conductors were successfully defined coincident with the targeted zones.
The EM survey results have been reviewed in combination with prior Talga geochemical samples collected from the surface within the conductors, which averaged 26.2% graphite (Cg).
Modelling of this data in conjunction with positive outcomes of the Niska underground mining scoping study have enabled a revised JORC-compliant Exploration Target estimate totalling 170-200Mt at 20-30% Cg at Vittangi. This is a significant increase from the previous 26-46Mt at 20-30% Cg.
The majority of this estimate is proximal along strike and down dip from Talga’s existing Vittangi JORC (2012) graphite resources of 19.5Mt @ 24.0% Cg demonstrating significant potential for additional expansion of Talga’s anode source material inventory. Additional targets are located along the mapped graphite units around the greater Nunasvaara Dome area.
Drilling and Exploration Programs to Commence
An extensive programme of diamond core drilling is scheduled to commence at Vittangi on 29 July, with expanded work programme approvals received and drill rig secured.
The staged 69 hole diamond drilling programme totalling ~8,000m will test down-dip extensions of the current JORC Resources as well as shallow subcrop targets between Nunasvaara North and Niska South (“North Ridge”). Drill assay results will commence being received in the fourth quarter.
Geotechnical, hydrogeological, waste rock and measured resource drilling is also planned at Nunasvaara South in readiness for mine production. Further drilling is planned over the balance of the Vittangi Exploration Target in stages over the next 12-18 months, along with drill testing of nearby regional targets owned by Talga.
Drilling aimed to expand the current Jalkunen Graphite Project resource base is scheduled to commence in the northern winter January-March 2022, to be followed by a planned scoping study and subsequent exploitation licence application.
Jalkunen lies approximately 70km by road southeast of Vittangi. A review of the Jalkunen JORC Exploration Target is underway and will be reported when complete. A detailed airborne electromagnetic survey (SKYTEM) is planned to commence at Vittangi before the end of July, to further define and integrate the graphite units and depth extensions for drilling.
The SKYTEM survey will also be extended to Talga’s Aitik East project where outcrops of coppergold-silver-molybdenum and lithium minerals have been previously identified and warrant further investigation.