The environmental permits, South Star says, have been authorised with situations usually consistent with that of Part 1, which includes a 5,000-tonne-per-year (tpa) pilot plant that’s already beneath building and is predicted to start industrial manufacturing within the first quarter of 2024.
As soon as full, Santa Cruz would be the first new graphite mine within the Americas since 1996. The open-pit mine in Bahia state is predicted to have a lifetime of 12 years by way of three phases.
South Star’s president Richard Pearce stated the approvals symbolize “an enormous achievement for Santa Cruz” and are a key step ahead in de-risking its future operations and scaling manufacturing at a vital time for battery metals.
“As soon as the complete mining concessions incorporating Phases 2 and three are authorised by the MME, we will improve our Part 1 manufacturing to call plate capability of 13,000 tpa from 5,000 tpa and ship extra high-quality Brazilian flake graphite to our purchasers,” Pearce stated.
The Part 2 operations, deliberate for 2026, will symbolize a larger-scale focus plant designed to supply as much as 25,000 tpa, whereas Part 3, scheduled for 2028, would carry the capability to the focused 50,000 tpa.
The instant purpose, Pearce stated, is to have all permits and licences in hand shortly for 50,000 tpa of manufacturing and advancing the Santa Cruz feasibility examine that the corporate goals to finish in December 2024.
Shortly after supply of the feasibility examine, South Star is predicted to make an funding determination on the undertaking. To this point, the Part 1 operation has been totally funded, whereas Part 2 is partially funded. As of now, the corporate has $18 million obtainable by way of a November 2022 settlement with Sprott Streaming for the Part 2 enlargement as soon as it reaches the FS stage.