"Energizer has put together plans for a mining and processing facility, logistics, transport and shipping. The company recently hired two well-known mine builders. The company has had successful bench-scale testing and is building a pilot plant to demonstrate the processing capabilities of the material. The next step is to get together with mid- and downstream users, to understand their needs. Madagascar is far away if you look at the map from North America, but it's also that much closer to major markets in India and East Asia. Plus, Madagascar has a stable government and is relatively mining friendly. . .Energizer [is one] of the most advanced, most attractive graphite mining plays in terms of [its] ability to deliver product to an end user that can then add more value to it."
The quality of the graphite is quite high. We were doing our own bench-scale modeling while I was there. We had crushers and grinders. We put material in and pulled it out. Just at the bench scale, without any fancy laboratory equipment or advanced separation, we were getting about 14% graphite concentrations out of rock samples that I picked up off the ground. It has immense volumes, very significant qualities and nice grades. The next big issues for graphite are who the customers will be, where this graphite will go and what people will do with it. That's what goes into the secret sauce of a graphite play."