Metallica Minerals discovers rare graphite in north Queensland

ABC Rural

Metallica Minerals has discovered graphite at Croydon in north Queensland. Graphite is used in batteries, laptops, lubricants, construction materials, medicine and pencils.

Graphene, which is produced from graphite, is being lauded as having huge potential in the development of computers, mobile phones and aviation materials. Currently there is only one operating graphite mine in Australia, at Port Lincoln in South Australia.

The graphite was found in Metallica’s first graphite-focused core drill hole at the Esmeralda Graphite Project, south of Croydon. The company is yet to receive laboratory results about the quality of the graphite, but Metallica CEO Simon Slesarewich said visual assessments had been positive.

“Visually it looks like the grade is very encouraging, but the proof in the pudding will be when we get these assays back in November sometime,” he said.

“I don’t think it is too early to be excited. A very large intercept like that is very rare globally, so it has the potential to be world class.

“Graphite, unlike many other metals, you can actually visually see it in the core, so it is reasonable to look at that and make an informed assumption of what the grade may be.”

The drill hole intersected more than 120 metres of graphite, and visual inspection indicated the majority of the core could contain more than 10 per cent graphite, up to 20 per cent in places.

Mr Slesarewich said the graphite discovered was a pure hydrothermal mineralisation, which is very rare. While he was excited about the discovery, he said there was a long road ahead. “This is the first drill hole and we’re drilling the second one as we speak, so although it’s exciting and encouraging, a lot of work and questions need to be answered prior to us even thinking about any sort of development.”

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