Energizer Resources discovery of graphite and vanadium agreement with DRA Mineral Projects

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first_imgWith confirmation of the discovery of two strategic minerals, vanadium and graphite, Energizer Resources says it “is now well positioned to move forward to mine development. This confirmation of the significant discovery of graphite, coupled with the Company’s NI 43-101 compliant resource of vanadium, and their respective roles in Green Energy and new cutting-edge products, has now become the catalyst for development. Energizer’s discoveries place it in a unique position within the industrial minerals arena – the ability to provide two strategic minerals from one source. The company also believes that its graphite discovery is the first new discovery globally of this important industrial mineral. The significance of graphite is now being recognised as a result of its use in multiple new applications and outside of China, companies have been focused on reopening past-producing graphite projects to meet anticipated demand.”Graphite is well established as an essential industrial mineral. However, it is graphite’s new applications in electric vehicles, high-tech consumer electronics and nuclear power, in conjunction with its new label as the wonder substance in its single-layer form, called graphene, that is changing the demand curve for graphite. While graphite and vanadium are forecast to have strong growth in their traditional applications (primarily steel related) for the next decade, it is these new applications and developments, and their resulting projected demand, that are the drivers for the development of the Green Giant project.The other important issue relating to graphite and vanadium is the China factor. Despite traditionally producing 75% of the world’s graphite, it would appear China’s raw materials supply is both rapidly diminishing and lower in quality. Once the biggest exporter of graphite, China is now the biggest importer. It has imposed a 20% export duty plus a 17% Value Added Tax and closed state-owned enterprises this year to preserve its graphite resources.Energizer has been at the forefront of outlining the applications for vanadium, such as its proven role as a battery “supercharger” when combined with lithium and the ongoing advancements in, and the deployment of, Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VFBs) by such notable companies as the US Ashlawn Energy and Germany’s Cellstrom.We have witnessed the evolution of VFB’s going from a cost of $0.22/kWh per-cycle over a year ago to approximately $0.11/kWh per cycle today with government subsidies.Ashlawn Energy, who is on target to install North America’s largest VFB (at 8 MWh) in Painesville, Ohio this year, has been a pioneer in the cost reduction of VFBs. Ashlawn Energy expects to be less than $0.09/kWh per cycle within the next 18 months. Achieving this would match the current cost of today’s legacy backup power systems, shortens the payback period and would be the economic catalyst to commercialise the VFB.Given this background, Energizer believes that the timing to move forward with its project is excellent. To this end, it has signed a formal agreement with South Africa’s DRA Mineral Projects, a world-leading process engineering and mining project development management firm, for the development of industrial mineral projects in Madagascar. Specific focus will be on the development of vanadium and graphite minerals on Energizer’s Green Giant and Malagasy Minerals JV properties.DRA will be appointed as the technical partner of Energizer. As a provider of full EPCM services, DRA offers Energizer the ability to both build and then operate a mining operation, thus providing a complete solution. With this expertise, key DRA personnel will have direct roles in the development of the project in Madagascar and will be responsible for facilitating discussions and interfaces with the Madagascar Government and key stakeholders in the Sakoa Coal project regarding infrastructure development and the identification of any synergistic opportunities.Johann de Bruin, Director of DRA Mineral Projects: “DRA has been following the development of the minerals industry in Madagascar with keen interest over the past six years whilst completing a series of feasibility studies for various potential projects on the island. It is evident that Madagascar has a lot to offer the global minerals industry and the resolution of political uncertainty, commitment to infrastructure development along with the continued global demand for its minerals are expected to mobilise a number of projects. DRA views the presence of these minerals, and future breakaway materials like graphene, as essential in applications for electric vehicles, energy storage, and high-tech as promising and is therefore very excited about the relationship with Energizer Resources.”Kirk McKinnon, CEO of Energizer: “This arrangement with DRA is significant as it provides Energizer with experts that have all the skill-sets required to advance our project to mine development, while interfacing with the Government, and leveraging their knowledge on infrastructure through insight into the Sakoa Coal project. We are also pleased that Energizer’s continuing project development will bring employment and substantial expansion of infrastructure to the people of Madagascar in this region. The company uses well over 100 local people through its exploration programs and have found them to be highly industrious. DRA will be able to leverage this skill-set as the project grows and continues to add more resources and infrastructure enhancements to the region. Energizer’s primary focus will now be the interface with and procurement of, key strategic partners and project financing. Currently the company is well financed to reach key project milestones, including the completion of the Preliminary Economic Assessment.”Key Components of Agreement:Exclusivity with DRA for the development of vanadium and graphite mineral projects in the geographical region of MadagascarManage and monitor the development of required metallurgical testing and to ascertain the feasibility via PEA, prefeasibility study or BFS of potential mine projectsPreparation of presentations for the Energizer board, potential investors and partners to update such stakeholders on project development progress, either during the study or implementation phases of the project.Effective February 1, 2012, Energizer’s Board of Directors will implement the following appointments to further position the Company as it moves to mine development. Johann de Bruin will be appointed to the company’s Board of Directors as the Project Leader and key interface for mine development. He is a Director of DRA with a 15-year track record of bringing numerous greenfield mining projects throughout Africa to feasibility. He currently leads the initiative of business development into Africa for the DRA Group and has acted as the primary liaison between DRA and Energizer for the past three years. de Bruin brings considerable insight and skill into evolving the infrastructure components associated with new projects in developing countries and is highly committed to the advancement of Energizer’s project. He will be involved in the project on a day-to-day basis as required.Robin Borley will be appointed to the company’s Special Advisory Committee in the capacity of Capital Projects and Mine Development. Borley is a Director of DRA and a Graduate Mining Engineer and Certified Mine Manager with over 25 years of International Mining experience across a range of commodities. He brings considerable knowledge and experience to the technical and operational aspects of mine development. As the former Chief Operating Officer with Red Island Minerals, one of the property owners of a significant coal resource in the Sakoa Coal Field project, his experience gained as well as the contacts and interface made with key Government officials will be invaluable to the company as it looks to develop its Madagascar projects. Borley will also be involved in the project on a day-to-day-basis as required.Marc Hein will be appointed to the Special Advisory Committee in the capacity of Energizer Mauritian Counsel to oversee and manage the interface with both the Madagascar and Mauritian Governments. Hein is a qualified Mauritian, English and French lawyer, specializing in business law. He is the Head of Practice of Juristconsult Chambers and has practised law in Mauritius and Madagascar since 1980. As a provider of legal services to Energizer for the past four years, Hein has spent considerable time in Madagascar and maintains excellent relations with key government officials in both Mauritius and Madagascar. He is a former Member of Parliament in Mauritius and a former Chairman of the Mauritius Bar Council.They will both join Brian Tobin, Peter Harder and Anthony Toldo on the Special Advisory Committee.Within the company Craig Scherba will be appointed to Senior Vice President for Energizer’s operations in Madagascar. Over the past fiveyears, he served as a geological consultant and then as Energizer’s Vice President of Exploration and is primarily responsible for the discovery and development of the project to-date in Madagascar. Reporting to Senior Management of Energizer, Scherba will assume the primary responsibility of managing the Madagascar operations, including direct oversight of DRA and all exploration and development activity.Fok Seung is a Chartered Accountant of the Institute of England and Wales and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Employed as Energizer’s Madagascar Country Manager for the past five years, he is based full time in Madagascar and will continue to act in this capacity with a focus on financial related business activity.last_img

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