Flinders Provides Battery Grade Graphite Marketing Update
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 30, 2016) - Flinders Resources Limited ("Flinders" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:FDR) is pleased to provide the following update regarding the marketing to customers of high purity, battery grade graphite from the Company's Woxna mine in Sweden.
Flinders 100% owned Woxna mine and concentrator in Sweden is the only publically listed modern full-scale, fully permitted (100,000 tonne/annum feed) operational graphite production facility. This facility has been fully commissioned and remains on a production-ready status until refractory grade graphite concentrate demand increases. This traditional graphite market is weak currently due to slow industrial markets that are showing little chance of rebounding in the short term, particularly with slowing growth rates in Brazil and China. (source - Benchmark Mineral Intelligence). Flinders believes it can produce value added products to offset this downturn in the traditional graphite market. The Company's revenue stream can be enhanced by including value added products such as spherical high purity battery grade graphite in our product lines.
Flinders, with its Chinese technology partner, is now finalizing a flow sheet for the production of high purity battery grade graphite at the Woxna facility. This processing technology is based on the world's only commercially proven purification methods that are utilized in China to supply the current global demand for high purity graphite demand. China is currently the only source for natural flake graphite processed to a quality suitable for the battery cell manufacturers. This technology has been utilised to produce high purity graphite samples from concentrate produced at the Woxna mine in Sweden.
The market is growing for battery-grade uncoated spherical graphite with orders continuing to grow and volumes increasing which is driving prices upward in excess of 3% in Q4 2015. Chinese EV production increased to over 340,000 units last year, up nearly 140% in Q4 2015 alone. This rapid growth in demand for batteries is expected to see sales of spherical graphite continue to grow. (source - Benchmark Mineral Intelligence).
The lithium ion battery is a significant part of the energy storage market which is driven primarily by the growing uptake of hybrid and electric vehicles. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence estimate that approximately 90% of spherical graphite produced around the world is used in energy storage. There is approximately 10 times more graphite than lithium required in a lithium ion battery. Traditionally spherical graphite has been made from artificial graphite because of its high quality and purity. Synthetic graphite is manufactured from oil refining by-products which is a very energy intensive and expensive process. Battery manufacturers are seeking alternatives to expensive synthetic graphite and high purity natural flake spherical graphite is the preferred option.
During April and May 2016, Flinders' marketing team will undertake a global marketing tour, to demonstrate the Woxna high purity spherical graphite samples throughout the European Union, North America and Asia. The tour shall focus will be on auto and battery cell manufacturers, with the aim of developing commercial relationships that will enable Flinders to permit and construct a high purity graphite plant adjacent to the existing operational concentration facility.
Blair Way, President and CEO states, "Flinders is at the leading edge of an emerging industry that could be a game changer. With a fully permitted and operational mine and concentrator, we are able to produce graphite concentrate stock to feed into a proven commercial purification flow sheet. This is a significant milestone and key differentiator for Flinders in the graphite sector. No other public western world graphite company has established these key components necessary to be a supplier of battery grade graphite."
The qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101 for the Woxna project, Blair Way, President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company, and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, has reviewed and verified the contents of this release.
On behalf of the Board,
Blair Way, President and CEO
About Flinders Resources
Flinders Resources is the 100% owner of the Woxna graphite mine and processing facility located in Sweden. The fully permitted Woxna facility was restarted in July 2014 and able to produce up to 11,000 tons per annum of natural flake graphite concentrate. The Woxna processing facility is currently in a "production ready" status until improved graphite prices return. This allows the Company to conserve working capital and work on value adding initiatives for the processing facility. Flinders Resources is working closely with technical partners to define the modifications to the current processing plant to enable production of high purity value added products to supply the emerging battery cell manufacturing market.
Certain information in this news release may constitute forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (collectively, "Forward-Looking Statements"). All statements, other than statements of historical fact that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future are Forward-Looking Statements. Forward-Looking Statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "expect," and "intend" and statements that an event or result "may," "will," "can," "should," "could," or "might" occur or be achieved and other similar expressions. Forward-Looking Statements are based upon the opinions and expectations of the Company based on information currently available to the Company.
Forward-Looking Statements are subject to a number of factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the Forward-Looking Statements including, among other things, the completion and implementation of the flow sheet for the successful production of high purity battery grade graphite, the Company has yet to generate a profit from its activities; there can be no guarantee that the estimates of quantities or qualities of minerals disclosed in the Company's public record will be economically recoverable; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future; competition with other companies within the mining industry; the success of the Company is largely dependent upon the performance of its directors and officers and the Company's ability to attract and train key personnel; changes in world metal markets and equity markets beyond the Company's control; mineral resources are, in the large part, estimates and no assurance can be given that the anticipated tonnages and grades will be achieved or that the indicated level of recovery will be realized; production rates and capital and other costs may vary significantly from estimates; changes in corporate goals and strategies, the Company's preliminary economic assessment is no longer current or valid and the Company has no plans to complete a new preliminary economic assessment, a pre-feasibility or feasibility study on the project, as a result there is an increased risk of technical and economic failure for the Woxna graphite project; unexpected geological conditions; delays in obtaining or failure to obtain necessary permits and approvals from government authorities; all phases of a mining business present environmental and safety risks and hazards and are subject to environmental and safety regulation, and rehabilitation and restitution costs; the Company does not maintain insurance against environmental risks; and management of the Company have experience in mineral exploration but may lack all or some of the necessary technical training and experience to successfully develop and operate a mine. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the Forward-Looking Statements, and the assumptions on which such Forward-Looking Statements are made, are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on Forward-Looking Statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which the Forward-Looking Statements are based will occur. Forward-Looking Statements herein are made as at the date hereof, and unless otherwise required by law, the Company does not intend, or assume any obligation, to update these Forward-Looking Statements.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or the accuracy of this news release.
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