Campoona mining project approved to produce ultra-pure graphite for batteries

8 December

Archer Exploration has been granted approval for its Campoona graphite project, north of Cleve on the Eyre Peninsula.

Mineral Resources Minister Tom Koutsantonis made the announcement this morning at the South Australian Exploration and Mining Conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The project will create about 60 jobs during construction and about 35 ongoing positions.

The proposed graphite project includes an open-cut mine and a mineral processing facility at nearby Sugarloaf to eventually produce up to 140,000 tonnes of graphite ore a year.

Archer expects some of the graphite concentrate produced at Campoona will be processed to create graphene, a higher-value product that can be used as a heat and electricity conductor.

ASX-listed Archer Exploration applied for the mining lease and two miscellaneous purpose licences through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pirie Resources.

The granting of the tenements follows the Government’s comprehensive assessment of that application. Archer is required to submit a detailed operating plan, known as a Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR), that aligns with the lease conditions.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said Campoona is a further example of South Australia’s growing role as a global supplier of a broad range of mineral products required by emerging technologies.

“This project has the potential to create about 95 construction and ongoing jobs in regional South Australia and help to diversify the economy of the Eyre Peninsula,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“An exciting aspect of this proposal is the capacity to locally produce high-value graphene, which is becoming a sought-after ingredient in emerging technologies such as solar cells.”

Archer Exploration CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair said the company’s focus will be on the production of graphite to supply the rapidly-growing lithium-ion battery industry and the production of graphene products to meet the demand of a global market eager to find scalable solutions for the widespread application of this wonder material that is expected to be pervasive across many industries in the future.

“The timing of the grant of the mining lease is ideal given the recent increase in international graphite prices due to graphite mine closures in China,” Dr Choucair said.