The Molo Graphite Project
The Molo is a Full Feasibility-stage project and ranks as one of the largest-known and highest quality flake graphite deposits in the world. The Molo Project 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 situated in the Tulear region of south-western Madagascar and is located 11.5km east of the town of Fotadrevo, covering an area of 62.5 hectares within the Company’s overall property claim position of 425km2 .
The Molo is centrally located between two coastal port cities. On the west coast of the island and located 160km north-west of Molo is the regional capital and port city of Toliara. On the east coast and 220km by road from the Molo is the port city of Fort Dauphin, which was the first French settlement in Madagascar.
At Fort Dauphin is the Port of Ehoala, a modern deep-water port built by the World Bank and Rio Tinto in 2009. Fort Dauphin will be the port of choice for the Molo Project.
The Molo deposit itself occurs in a serendipitously flat, sparsely populated and dry savannah grassland region that has easy access via a network of seasonal secondary roads. These roads radiate outward from the village of Fotadrevo to a serviceable regional road system connecting Toliara to Fort Dauphin, via the RN10 (“Route Nationale”) or RN13. Fotadrevo, the current location of NextSource’s permanent camp, hosts an all-weather, all-season airstrip.
Madagascar is renowned worldwide for its high-quality flake graphite and has been a traditional producer for over a century but has never exceeded 12,000 tonnes of production annually. Currently, annual production of flake graphite averages about 5,000 tonnes. NextSource Materials’ Molo deposit represents the first new and substantial graphite discovery in the country in over 50 years.
The Molo is one of seven surficial graphite trends discovered and drill tested by NextSource in late 2011 and announced to the market in early January 2012. Resource delineation, drilling and trenching on the Molo took place between May and November of 2012, and allowed for a maiden Indicated and Inferred Resource to be stated in early December of the same year. This maiden mineral resource estimate formed the basis for the Company’s Preliminary Economic Assessment (the “PEA”), which was undertaken by DRA Mineral Projects and released to the market in 2013.
The positive outcome of this assessment lead NextSource to undertake another phase of exploratory drilling and sampling in 2014 to upgrade the deposit and its contained mineral resources to reserve (bankable) status. The process included an additional 32 diamond drill holes (totaling 2,063 metres) and 9 trenches (totaling 1,876 metres). The entire database upon which the upgraded resource estimate was based contained 80 drill holes (totaling 11,660 metres) and 35 trenches (totaling 8,492 metres). This new resource formed the basis of Molo’s positive Full (Bankable) Feasibility Study released in February 2015.
In June 2017, the Company released an updated Feasibility Study, which verified positive economics for a phased production of the Molo mine, which will utilize a fully-modular build approach taking into account current-day flake graphite prices. Phase 1 will consist of a fully operational and sustainable graphite mine with a permanent processing plant capable of producing approximately 17,000 tonnes per annum (“tpa”) of high-quality SuperFlake™ graphite concentrate per year with a mine life of 30 years.
In September 2019, the Company released a further updated Feasibility Study ("the 2019 Updated Feasibility Study Technical Report") that outlined a phased development approach with Phase 1 producing 17,000 tonnes per annum (“tpa”) over the first two years of production and Phase 2 producing a total of 45,000 tpa by year 3.
In June 2021, the Company announced the initiation of a technical study for an expanded Phase 2 production capacity of at least 150,000 tonnes per annum (“tpa”) of SuperFlake® for its Molo Graphite Mine in Madagascar. This is a significant increase from the 2019 Feasibility Study, which considered a Phase 2 production capacity of only 45,000 tpa.