NextSource Materials (TSX:NEXT) (OTCQB:NSRCF) is a Canadian mine development company based in Toronto, Ontario, that is in the late stages of mine development of its 100%-owned Molo Graphite Project in southern Madagascar.
The Molo is a feasibility-stage and fully permitted flake graphite project that ranks as one of the largest-known and highest quality deposits in the world. The Molo hosts a National Instrument 43-101 compliant total combined graphite resource of 141.28 million tonnes (Mt) at 6.13% total graphitic carbon (C), with a contained ore reserve of 22.44 Mt at 7.02%C.
The Molo is located 160km by road south-east of Madagascar’s administrative capital (and port city) of Toliara, and 220km from the Port of Ehoala at Fort Dauphin, a modern (2009) deep-water port developed by the World Bank and Rio Tinto and will be the port of choice for the Molo Project. A serviceable regional road system connects Toliara to Fort Dauphin and runs immediately adjacent to the Molo camp.
The Molo deposit itself is specifically located 11.5 km east of the town of Fotadrevo in the Tulear region of south-western Madagascar and covers an area of 62.5 hectares within the Company’s overall property claim position of 425km2.
A new Feasibility Study (“FS”) completed September 2019 reconfirmed that the Molo Project has one of the lowest mine capital costs and a lowest-quartile future producer due to its low-cost, open pit operation that has a negligible stripping ratio. The 2019 Feasibility Study was undertaken to reflect NextSource Materials’ phased approach to production, using a full-modular mine build approach.
Phase 1 will consist of a processing plant with a feed rate of 240,000 tonnes per annum and a production rate of 17,000 tonnes of SuperFlake® graphite concentrate for the first two years of operation at purities up to 98%C per annum with simple flotation. This production level will rank the Molo Project among one of the top five largest producers of flake graphite globally.
Phase 2 incorporates the expansion of production to 720,000 tpa of processed ore in the third year to accommodate additional sales, resulting in a total of 45,000 tpa of SuperFlake® concentrate being produced for a mine life of 30 years.
Molo SuperFlake™ has been verified by end-users for use in all the top demand applications - refractory (steel), lithium-ion battery applications and expanded graphite (foil) applications.
Both the Mining Permit and the Global Environmental Permit have been secured, with all environmental and social responsibility information for the Molo Project completed to Equator Principles. These are the standards adopted by the World Bank and the majority of international commercial banks, and to the and International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Performance Standards. They are the highest environmental and social standards in the world. These standards have been incorporated into the design of the Molo Project’s facilities and operations given NextSources’ commitment to follow international best practices. There is a global consumer shift to take social responsibility into account when developing projects and NextSource has worked hard to ensure that it met this requirement.
By utilizing a phased, all-modular build strategy approach, it positions NextSource with first-mover competitive advantage while quickly being able to penetrate the market. NextSource Materials is now focused on raising the mine capital for Phase 1 of the Molo mine. Once funding is secured, the build time is just 9 months to commissioning.