Valence Industries, the industrial manufacturer of high-grade flake graphite products, has announced that the SA Premier Jay Weatherill will be opening its Phase I regional graphite mining and manufacturing facilities on 25 November 2014.
The formal opening of the facilities marks a significant milestone for the State and for the Eyre Peninsula, with more than 20 local contractors and suppliers and 30 local personnel involved in the Valence Industry operations.
During 2014 Valence Industries focused on recommencing graphite production by bringing its existing Uley Graphite manufacturing and processing plant off care and maintenance.
The Phase I facilities include two processing circuits. The Primary Processing Circuit is used to wash and grind raw run of mine material and produce a fed product for second stage processing, while the Secondary Processing Circuit then screens, dries and allows for the packaging of the graphite to produce the company’s multiple flake graphite product lines.
The existing Phase I plant has a projected capacity to produce 14,000 tonnes of flake graphite concentrate per year and with the engineering and reconstruction program implemented by the company, the Primary Processing Circuit has been redesigned and replaced and the Secondary processing Circuit has been fully refurbished and tested.
The company said it has pre-commissioned the Phase I Secondary Process Circuits with operating crews, attracting significant numbers of highly skilled local applicants, and that work on refurbishment of the Primary Processing Circuit is reaching its final stages and will be ready to start processing the ROM stockpiles in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, Valence is completing the feasibility study for the proposed Phase II expansion of production, which builds on the results and recommendations of the 2013 Scoping Study. The Phase II plant is expected to achieve improved production capacity, quality and operating costs when compared to Phase I plant, with initial capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year in Phase IIA.
The company has also initiated the Phase III High Purity Program, which assesses the potential to deliver higher-value flake graphite products to its customers and involves a range of specialist applications and proprietary formulations of Valence’s flake graphite that do not necessarily include further purification.
Further, Valence has also signed a $800,000 Joint Research, Development & Commercialisation Agreement with the University of Adelaide for the development and commercialisation of all new graphene research and for the development of a new Australian Graphene Research Centre to be based in South Australia.
Led by Professor Dusan Losic and his team at the School of Engineering in the University of Adelaide, the graphene research driven and owned by Valence Industries will permit the development of new and significant applications for graphene products and sales, which range from heavy industrial uses to new technology and medical uses.