Articlewww.madencilik-turkiye.comGraphite: A CriticalRaw Material and TurkeyRaw materials and natural resources,          ...
example Flake Graphite has a carbon          duction worldwide. Other important                             ed going after...
restart their operations and occasionally                                                                                 ...
duction figures, because we have more                      day input capacity we are talking aboutthan enough sources for ...
Even with some additional R&D for           ite%20110922.pdf ,                          Quinquennially Development Plan , ...
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Graphite: A Critical Raw Material and Turkey

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Graphite: A Critical Raw Material and Turkey

  1. 1. Articlewww.madencilik-turkiye.comGraphite: A CriticalRaw Material and TurkeyRaw materials and natural resources, GRAPHITE AT A GLANCE: Element or Element Relative Supply Leadinghave always a critical and strategic role Group Risk Index Producer Graphite is a natural form of carbon withnot only today but also in the course of Antimony 8.50 China the chemical formula C and is character-history. In fact, among the reasons for Platinium Group ized by its hexagonal crystalline struc- 8.50 South Africa ElementsWorld War 1, efforts to seize Europe’s ture. It occurs naturally in metamorphiccoal deposits in the Alsace-Loren is said Mercury 8.50 China rocks such as marble, schist and gneiss.to have an important role. Tungsten 8.50 China Actually we know graphite in our daily Rare earth elements 8.00 China life very well; it was the “lead” part of aTechnology and industry manufacturing Niobium 8.00 Brazil lead pencil. Other two important naturalcountries and Country groups have also Strontium 7.50 China carbon forms are Coal and Diamond.recognized the increasing importance Bismuth 7.00 Chinaof the raw materials todays and were Thorium 7.00 India Graphite materials fit into two primaryforced to adopt measures, and develop Bromine 7.00 USA classifications :strategies for accessing and securing the Graphite 7.00 China •• Synthetic Graphitesupply of these raw materials. European Table 2: BGS Risk List 2011 2 •• Natural GraphiteUnion is one of the most important ofthem, particularly due to geographical Synthetic Graphite is an industrial endproximity to Turkey, and Turkey’s inten- product rather than a natural resource,sive economic relations with it. The EU so we will mainly focus on Natural Graph-started to act and establish an initiative ite as it is a raw material from a naturalcalled “Raw Materials Initiative” and pre- In both studies made by EU and BGS, two resource. Natural graphite can be furtherpared, started to developed strategies important raw materials, especially for divided into three primary types4;and alternate sources for 14 raw materi- our country, are noticeable immediately; •• Amorphous Graphiteals that they thought important and criti- •• Antimony (in the first rank and has a •• Flake Graphitecal. These raw materials are: higher risk index than rare earths) •• Crystalline Vein •• Graphite Antimony Indium These two raw materials are being pro- Each type has characteristic properties Beryllium Magnesium duced and have potential to be pro- and is formed in a unique geologic set- duced more in Turkey. Now we will have ting. But in the basis of this classification, Cobalt Niobium a further deeper look at Graphite. structure of carbon element lies. As an Fluorspar PGMs (Platinum Group Metals) Gallium Rare Earths Germanium Tantalum Graphite Tungsten Table 1: Critical Raw Material for EU1A similar study has been carried out byBGS-British Geological Surveys, by evalu-ating over 50 raw materials, by identify-ing critical risk index for them, and ranksthem based on importance. And BGSpublished a list called “Risk List 2011” 42 01 September 2012
  2. 2. example Flake Graphite has a carbon duction worldwide. Other important ed going after graphite exporters thatstructure of flaky as it is named. producers are North Korea, Brazil, Mexi- had been dodging or underpaying theGraphite has some unique specifications co, Canada, Norway Madagascar and Sri 20% export tax on graphite, sending ex-that makes it very important, it is : Lanka. As I said above as we don’t have ports down and prices up. (China also has•• Excellent heat conductor very clear idea about production quan- a 17% value-added tax on the material.)•• Excellent electricity conductor tities and China’s share in production,•• Heat resistant (Melting Point 3927 C°) but we have very clear indicators about Besides this, there are also very serious•• Chemical and Corrosion resistant the market shares, when we analyze the expectations from Lithium ion battery•• Resistant to acids and oxidizing United Nations Trade Statistics, we found market. While currently small, it’s the agents out that China’s share in total graphite most important growth market for natu-•• Lubricating export is a around 85%7. This means that ral flake graphite. Lithium-ion batteries China is a monopoly in the market. This contain up to 10 times the amount ofNatural Graphite are being used in many situation wasn’t realized for a long peri- graphite as lithium, so the potential isindustries, these industries and shares in od of time, as there wasn’t too much sup- great, especially if electric vehicles (EVs)total natural graphite consumption are ply problem in the market, and graphite catch on in the market. It was estimatedas follow5; wasn’t a hot commodity in the market that Lithium ion battery market could•• %41 - Steel & Refractories because of its low price. But in 15 month create another 1 million tonnes demand•• %14 - Automotive Parts periods between January 2011 and by the year 20205. These expectations and•• %14 - Lubricants March 2012 graphite prices increased price increases start a boom in graphite•• %11 - Carbon Brushes 140%7. To understand how graphite market, and currently over 100 graphite•• %10 - Batteries prices developed you can compare the projects announced to the market.•• %10 - Others prices in 2006 and 2012 in below table. But we must add a comment here, firstGRAPHITE PRODUCTION AND PRICES 20068 20129 of all it is very obvious that majority ofNatural Graphite production is estimated Large Flake %94-97 C + 80 Mesh 800-950$ 2500-3000 $around 1 million tonnes/ year, as 600,000 Medium Flake %90 C -80 Mesh 440-495 $ 1500-2000 $tonnes Amorphous and 400,000 tonnes Amorphous Powder %80-85 C 240-260 $ 600-800 $various grade and size Flake graphite. Prices are CIF European Port $/tonIn reality we don’t have very exact andcertain numbers for production quanti- Table 3: 2006 and 2012 Graphite Pricesties, mainly because Countries statisticsrelated to production not so transparentand accessible, also production figurescoming from producers which could in-clude some speculation. Prices have significantly increased af- ter 2009, the main reasons for this in- these projects won’t be developed forChina is the biggest producers and ac- crease are ; because of the crisis in 2008, next stages, and won’t be even closercounting 80% of the total graphite pro- producers cut back their capacity and to production, as they are too sensitive when demand started to come back for on prices, they are very high costs proj- graphite in 2009, producers were caught ects, and for mining perspective they off guard. At the same time, China has are logically not doable. If you look care- closed down or consolidated some pro- fully you see that all of these projects are duction, to better control environmental flake graphite projects, as they explained issues and protect graphite reserves. that flake graphite will be very impor- tant for new uses like Lithium batteries, Adding further pressure to prices, in Janu- but currently we don’t have that size of ary 2010, the Chinese government start- demand, and on the other hand, it is 01 September 2012 43
  3. 3. restart their operations and occasionally produce small quantities. Production (Metric Consumption (Metrict Year Tonnes) Tonnes) 1985 - 4,100.00 1986 3,586.00 4.000.00 1987 8,900.00 3,400.00 1988 12,911.00 13,000.00 1989 11,000.00 12,000.00 1990 18,712.00 18,712.00 1991 26,763.00 26,763.00 1994 5,000.00 25,000* 1995 5,000.00 25,000* 1996 5,000.00 25,000* 1997 5,000.00 25,000* 1998 5,000.00 25,000* 1999 5,000.00 25,000* Table 5: Turkey Graphite Production between 1985-199911just because flake graphite prices actu- cal graphite mineralization determined.” Year Production (tonnes)ally high enough to show the investors Unfortunately we couldn’t find too much 2003 0.00a profitable project. We will see some detailed work on graphite mineralization 2004 28.00price decreases in the market and they in Turkey but at least we know where the 2005 0.00will significantly affect these projects mineralization is and what could be the 2006 0.00and juniors. Almost all of these projects quality of it. According to MTA all the de- 2007 0.00are financial investment/venture capital termined mineralization is amorphous 2008 3,236.00projects, and even a small price decrease type, some of the important reserves 2009 2,400.00will create a panic for financial investors. and grades in Turkey are as follow:For this reason to develop low cost min- Table 6: Turkey Graphite productioning projects are very important. In 1980 Turkey has two graphite min- between 2003-200913 ers, producing graphite from their un-GRAPHITE IN TURKEY: derground graphite mines , These areIn 8th Quinquennially Development Karabacak Mining (now Oysu Graphite)Plan it was said that: “Graphite studies whose mines and flotation plant locatedand works in Turkey was started in 1941 in Kütahya - Altıntaş - Oysu and Bilginerin Turkey according to MTA (General Mining whose mine located in Muğla-Directorate of Mining Exploration and Milas-Yayladere. Both of the companiesResearch of Turkey) and Mining Affairs carried out some flotation enrichment Most important figure in these tablesrecords, and in over 22 region, economi- studies, and in 1991 Karabacak mining are production of 26,000 mt of graph- set up a 100 mt/day input capacity flo- ite in 1991. If Turkey could hit the same tation plant in their mine, and Bilginer production figures again, these means Reserve Quantity Average Place/City (metric Tonnes) C% mining also set up a small pilot flotation that Turkey could be one of the top five Yozgat < 100 000 45 plant in their mine in Muğla. But in 1992 graphite producers in the world. With China entered the graphite market with best of my knowledge and experience, I Kastamonu Unknown 60 low prices, and market discovered pe- believe that Turkey could hit this pro- Aydin 150 000 10 İzmir - Tire – Karamersin 150 000 8 troleum coke as a subsidiary of graphite İzmir - Tire – Çeşme 200 000 6 mainly in steel industries. These create İzmir - Tire – Başköy 150 000 10 a collapse in the market and not only in Istanbul 150 000 30 Turkey but also all over the world, lots of Mersin Unknown 45 mine and producers stop their produc- Adiyaman Unknown 45 tion. Mugla 30 000 10 Till 1999 grapihite production continue Kutahya-Oysu 130 000 20 in Turkey but later stopped again, and Table 4: Main Graphite Mineralization in Turkey11 in 2008-2009 flotation plant in Kutahya 44 01 September 2012
  4. 4. duction figures, because we have more day input capacity we are talking aboutthan enough sources for this. 5 million USD for flotation plant. We also consider some other investment cost,CASE STUDY: A SMALL AMORPHOUS GRAPH- and some due diligence costs before in-ITE MINE IN TURKEY vestment as follow;People who read this article could askseveral questions; Why invest in Amor- Flotation Plant Investment $5,000,000.00phous Graphite in Turkey? And Is it really License Purchasing Cost $100,000.00worth to consider to invest a small re- Licensing and Permissions $70,000.00serve? I want to analyze a small graphite Settlement and Startup $200,000.00deposit, and I think this will answer lots Drillings $160,000.00 creasing importance. Even without con-of questions. I couldn’t give exact loca- Analysis and Test Works $30,000.00 sidering new demand drivers, traditionaltion, and information about the mine as Contingency 10% $546,000.00 markets such as Steel and refractoriesit is a confidential project currently pre- Total Investment $6,106,000.00 are very important industries for con-pared for a company. But It is 230 km far sumption. Especially because of China,from one of the main ports of Turkey, and For mining and processing cost, SGS ad- industry faces an important supply gap,very close to infrastructure. I will use one vises following figures which we believe mainly traditional graphite consumers.of the SGS reports and figures for cost that reasonable also for Turkey (even it is But because of the current market andand capital investment requirement, so a bit high); economic conditions low cost projectsthat we will have internationally accept- are very important, as prices could fluc-ed costs. There is 4 geophysics anomalies Production Costs per tonne tuate in the short term.determined and only 1 of them was test- Overburden&Waste $3.81ed with drill, and for this one anomaly Mining Costs Ore $4.11 Turkey has a graphite mining history forMTA calculated following figures (data Processing Cost (incl Administration costs) $13.69 more than 30 years, and geographicallytaken from MTA records); it is very close to Europe which is the With Consideration of above cost we main importer of graphite. According to Information About the Mine reach following annual cost table; UN trade statistics EU importing roughly Possible Reserve 307,146 mt around 150,000 mt graphite annually Strip Ratio 6.14 mt/mt Annual Cost Calculation and this demand is mainly met by China. Average Grade 26.45 % Fix C Overburden&Waste $1,671,302.84 So a very important market is just next Mining Costs Ore $293,865.00 to Turkey and when you consider the de-With this reserve figures we are planning Processing Cost $978,835.00 livery time and logistic costs, Turkey hasto produce roughly 21,000 mt of con- Total $2,944,002.84 very important competitive advantagescentrate with 85% C content and with against China.95% efficiency. 21,000 mt won’t have too And finally we reach below profit/lostmuch negative effect on supply side so table with 3 different price level. Our case study that we explain abovethat we could benefit with current high shows us that evenprice level. For production of 21,000 mt Selling Price 1 Selling Price 2 Selling Price 3 a very small reserveconcentrate annually, 250 mt/day input $500.00 $600.00 $800.00 with high gradecapacity flotation plant will be sufficient. Concentrate Production ore (when we con- 21,136.66 21,136.66 21,136.66And production figures will be as follow; Per year (mt) sider this project Sales Income $10,568,330.88 $12,681,997.06 $16,909,329.41 with other 26% fix Yearly ore process and production Production Costs $2,944,002.84 $2,944,002.84 $2,944,002.84 C content, it has the Working days for a month 26 Transportation Costs Per tonne $60.00 $60.00 $60.00 highest quality ore Effective working month/year 11 Annual Transportation Cost $1,268,199.71 $1,268,199.71 $1,268,199.71 among other proj- Working days for a Year 286 First Year Sales Profit (EBITD) $6,356,128.34 $8,469,794.52 $12,697,126.87 ects worldwide) of- Overburden/waste excavation 438,662.16 Sales Profit Over Mine life $27,304,382.31 $36,384,178.43 $54,543,770.65 fers very profitable in a year (mt) mining business. Ore excavation in a year (mt) 71,500.00 As you see above table, in worst case And we know that some of the mine, Concentrate Production in a year (mt) 21,136.66 scenario for 500 USD price for 85% Fix which is not yet studied had over 60% C C content graphite, project will have 6,3 contended ore in Turkey.With above estimation it means that we million USD net profit in the first yearhave 4 years 4 months of mine life. Again which even pay the investment cost in We can’t say Turkey is an importantaccording to SGS report, for an invest- year 1. player, and have significant graphite re-ment of a flotation plant it must be con- serves, but to have a profitable graphitesidered 20,000 USD / per ton of plant in- CONCLUSION: mining, we don’t need million tonnes ofput capacity. So for a plant with 250 mt/ Graphite is a critical raw material with in- ore and to be number one in the world. 46 01 September 2012
  5. 5. Even with some additional R&D for ite%20110922.pdf , Quinquennially Development Plan , Min-producing higher grade graphite con- 4- http://www.asbury.com/ ing Experts Commission Repor, Industrialcentrates, we will have better profit 5- Uysal, Sait, Graphite, Turkey and Mena Minerals Raw Material SubGroup Generalscenarios, because higher grades offer Industrial Minerals and Mining Summit, Industiral Minerals 1, Asbestos, Graphite,higher values. And we can say without May 2012 Calcite Fluorite, Titanium Working Groupdoubt that, yes Turkey offers profit- 6- Roberts, Jessica, Graphite’s Battery Report, 2001, DPT:2618-ÖİK:629able, small scale, manageable, high Boom, Industrial Minerals Magazine, 11- Urcun, UYGUR, Graphite Mining inprofit, low cost graphite opportunities. March 2012, No:534, Turkey, TMMOB Chamber of Mining En- p. 39 gineers Mining Bulletin, July-SeptemberNOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY 7- Moores, Simon, Graphite Red Alert, In- 2008, Volume: 86, page: 441- European Commission Enterprise and dustrial Minerals Magazine, March 2012,Industry, Report of the Ad-hoc Working No:534, p. 37Group on defining critical raw materials, 8- Industrial Minerals, December 2006,Critical Raw Material For The EU, June No:471, p.742010 Industrial Minerals, March 2012, No:534, CONTACTS2- http://www.bgs.ac.uk/mineralsuk/sta- p.69tistics/riskList.html 9- Hiyatha, Alisha, Rewriting the Book Sait Uysal Mining Professional3- Archer Exploration Limited, Graphite, on Graphite, Mining Markets, June E-mail: saituysal@gmail.com2011, http://www.archerexploration. 2012,V.5,No:2, p22-23 Website: www.saituysal.com.trcom.au/assets/pdfs/AXE%20Graph- 10- Turkey State Planning Institute, 8th 01 September 2012 47

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