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South Australia focused developer iTech Minerals Ltd (ASX:ITM) has exceeded expectations for metallurgical recoveries from its Lacroma Graphite project, producing a 94 percent TGC (total graphite carbon) concentrate, as well as recoveries of around 95% through an industry standard flotation circuit.

In addition, metallurgical work shows the potential for purified spherical graphite (PSG) to be produced, based on the achievement of high purity fine flake graphite from bench scale metallurgical testing work.

The recoveries have the potential to improve even further through optimisation work using the same graphite flotation process, which is both non-chemical and non-thermal.

Managing director Mike Schwartz said he was thrilled with these results, which had confounded iTech’s expectations.

“We targeted an industry-standard 80 percent recovery rate with our first round of metallurgical test work, so exceeding it by such a significant margin so early on in the process using simple flotation techniques is incredibly encouraging,” he said.

“It really highlights the potential the Lacroma Graphite Project has to produce a high quality, low-cost graphite product for the growing battery materials market.”

The properties of graphite from Lacroma – which is part of iTech’s larger Campoona Graphite Project in South Australia – suggest that a low-cost operation is achievable.

The company is now planning to move on to bulk sampling production, as well as purification and spheroidization test work.

iTech has been trading at 7.8 cents.

ITM by the numbers
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