Tirupati Graphite vatomina preconcentrate and road infrastructure rebuilding update

Tirupati Graphite

Tirupati Graphite plc (LON:TGR, TGRHF.OTCQX), the specialist graphite and graphene company developing sustainable new age materials, has today provided a progress update on three important workstreams.  First, on the installation and commissioning of the Vatomina preconcentrate plant, secondly, on the progress to-date with regards to the rebuilding of the road infrastructure to streamline operations for the installed 12,000 tons per annum capacity, and thirdly, a progress update on the construction phase of the upcoming 18,000 additional capacity in Sahamamy.

Vatomina Preconcentrate Installed and Plant Recommissioned

·    The Company decided to divide its processing flow sheet into two parts (see RNS of 21 July 2022), shifting the first leg of processing, which removes 80-90% of impurities from the ore, to the mine pit heads referred to as the ‘pre-concentrate’ units.

·    The construction and relocation of the first leg of Vatomina’s 9,000 ton per annum plant was initiated in mid July 2022. This has now been completed and the preconcentrate and final concentrate plant recommissioned and synchronised in operation.

·    As a result, the previous requirement for the transport of c.250,000 tons of ore per annum to the plant has been replaced by the pumping of c.30,000 tons per annum of ‘pre concentrate’ in slurry form to the main processing plant, eliminating reliance on roads and ore transport vehicles.

·    The elimination of the transportation of ore and the transformation to the preconcentrate concept is expected to result in:

o a reduction of c.75,000 litres of diesel annually for the 9,000 tons Vatomina plant;

o a reduction in other costs related to the operation of the ore transport fleet estimated to be equivalent to the cost of diesel consumption saved;

o elimination of the necessity for building a high-cost metalled road from the mine areas to the main processing plant; and

o the possibility to enhance capacity of the Vatomina current facility to 18,000 tons per annum by installation of a second preconcentrate plant with limited additions in the mining fleet and main processing plant, which the Company is currently assessing.

Sahamamy 18,000 tons per annum facilities and road rebuilding update

·   The construction of both pre-concentrate and main processing plants at Sahamamy continues to progress and remain on track for September 2022 completion.

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·    The 18,000 tons per annum plant is designed substantially using the scaled up equipment installed at Vatomina, and the Company remains confident that with the extensive ramp up activities and related modifications made over the past few quarters, these have provided enough inputs for the Company to ramp up the Sahamamy plant in more or less one quarter. This leads the management team to believe that from 2023 the Company will be well placed to operate at an estimated minimum 80% of installed capacity of 30,000 tons per annum.

·    Over the past three weeks, the Company used its mining and earthmoving fleet to rebuild all the road network and has reached the stage that all road connectivity is now operational and steps are being taken to strengthening the c. 5 km weak points, which should help to counteract the effect of rain when the next wet season commences in January 2023.

The Company currently remains focussed on streamlining its operations and to complete the next 18,000 tons per annum facilities. Further guidance will be announced as soon as practicable.

Shishir Poddar, Tirupati Graphite Executive Chairman, said:

“We are pleased to have substantially overcome the difficulties we faced in operations over the past few quarters. We have used the time as a learning period to better prepare ourselves for the future.

With the Vatomina operations coming back online and mobility restored across the two projects, we are well placed to push forward our progress and transform further as we plug in the additional capacity upcoming in Sahamamy.”

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