About the High-Grade Springdale Graphite Project
The 100% owned high-grade Springdale Graphite Project is located approximately 30 kilometres east of Hopetoun in south Western Australia. The Project is situated on freehold land, with good access to infrastructure being within 150 kilometres of the port at Esperance via sealed roads. There is grid power and piped gas accessible at the site.
The tenements lie within the deformed southern margin of the Yilgarn Craton and constitute part of the Albany-Fraser Orogen. Comet owns 100% of the two tenement’s (E74/562 and E74/612) that make up Springdale project.
Figure 1 - The High-Grade Springdale Graphite project is located in south Western Australia
Comet completed a first pass aircore drilling program in February 2016, which confirmed that graphite was present (Western Zone).
In September 2017 a detailed aeromagnetic survey was conducted (ASX 10 Nov 2017). Interpretation of the survey delineated 26 kilometres of stratigraphy deemed to be prospective for graphite mineralisation. Less than 20% of the identified stratigraphy has been drill tested, indicating the potential scale of the Project.
Figure 2 - Map of the High-Grade Springdale Graphite Project, showing graphitic stratigraphy,
existing resources and high-grade discoveries outside resources
The Northern zone was identified as a high priority drill target. RC drilling completed between December 2017 and February 2018 was successful in identifying high-grade graphite mineralisation in the Northern zone.
In April 2017 metallurgical testwork proved that graphene can be produced from Springdale by electrical exfoliation. It is very rare for a graphite deposit to be able to produce graphene using the exfoliation method on solid, untreated rock.
In December 2018 Comet released a maiden Inferred Resource of 15Mt @ 6.0% Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC) including a high-grade component of 2.6mt at 17.5% TGC, incorporating the Northern, Eastern and Western Zones. It is the high-grade component of the resource which is the Company's focus.
The discovery of two new high-grade zones of graphite mineralisation outside the existing resource was announced in May 2019. The results of the drilling program confirmed that electromagnetic (EM) surveys could be used as a targeting tool for shallow, high-grade graphite mineralisation (ASX 7 May 2019).
EM has proved to be a powerful targeting tool for shallow, high-grade graphite at Springdale. This provides the opportunity to reduce exploration costs through more accurate drill targeting.
The Company conducted a diamond drilling program and aerial EM survey in September and October 2019, with results due in the fourth quarter of 2019. Metallurgical testwork programs using the material from this drilling have been designed to be undertaken in Australia and Internationally with results expected into the first quarter of 2020.
Comet has engaged a specialist metallurgical team with significant graphite-specific experience team to undertake the analytical and metallurgical testwork for Springdale.
Several metallurgical programs are currently underway, designed to classify and characterise the graphite while maximising recoveries. Additional testwork programs will be conducted to assess the value-add potential for producing products to supply into electric vehicle, static battery, expansion and graphite foil markets.
Select drill chips have been analysed to determine flake size. Large to jumbo flakes of graphite have the highest market value and they are common in the majority of samples submitted from the Springdale Graphite Project. Some flakes were up to 500 µm in size.
Figures 3 and 4 - Examples of thin and polished section shots showing graphite flakes from the Springdale project.
Graphene by exfoliation
In April 2017 Comet’s metallurgical consultants successfully recovered graphene through exfoliation of diamond core. Research and testwork on graphene production and other graphite products including battery graphite is ongoing.
Figure 5 - Exfoliation of core from the Springdale Graphite Project.