Tirupati Graphite PLC (LON:TGR) said it has opened its second mine in Madagascar at the Vatomina project, where it remains on track to start commissioning the first 9,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) processing plant in the second quarter.
The specialist graphite producer and graphene developer also said it had completed building an interconnecting road between Vatomina and Sahamamy, which will reduce logistics costs and shave about 5% from current operating expenditure.
“The opening of the mine marks the beginning of commercial operations at the greenfield Vatomina project, taking us one step further towards our goal of increasing capacity in Madagascar to 30,000 tpa by Q1 2022 and 84,000 tpa by 2024,” said chief executive Shishir Poddar.
“Furthermore, we are equally delighted that our new road between our two projects, Vatomina and Sahamamy, is now complete, providing them direct access to the National Highway and thereby helping us reduce our OPEX.”
Tirupati is also preparing for the start of the accelerated construction of Sahamamy’s next plant, which has a planned capacity of 18,000 tpa, for which it raised additional capital last week.
“As demonstrated by the huge support we received for our oversubscribed £10 million placing last week, investors are increasingly cognisant of graphite’s role in the green economy and energy transition.
“We therefore believe a prolonged supply shortage is likely; the opening of our new Vatomina mine will go some way to plugging the supply gap with our high-quality natural flake graphite.”