When a new exploration company hits the ASX boards being led by industry graphite expert Phil Hearse, speculators would be safe to assume – something big is in the works.
In 2016, Hearse, with more than 40 years of experience in the mining industry, and several high profile mining experts got together and targeted a piece of land in Southern Madagascar. This small piece of land was hidden away but now, it has become clear why they targeted and acquired the exploration rights.
Since floating publicly on the ASX in January 2018, the team at BlackEarth Minerals NL (ASX: BEM) has aggressively drilled at its Maniry Graphite Project. Just seven months later, BEM has announced a maiden JORC resource and a whopping exploration target of 260 – 380mT* (million tonnes) of graphite at 6-8% Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC).
To put the size of BlackEarth’s exploration target in perspective, the next closest graphite project in Madagascar is the Molo Project, owned by Toronto Stock Exchange-listed, NextSource Materials.
According to NextSource, “The Molo Project ranks as one of the largest-known and highest quality flake graphite deposits in the world.” It hosts a combined graphite resource of 141.28mT at 6.13% TGC.
The value of the project’s resource is reflected in NextSource’s current market capitalisation of $CAD 56 million ($AUD 58.4m).
BlackEarth’s recently announced mammoth exploration target would explain why Hearse, and Managing Director Tom Revy, have fast-tracked BEM’s drill program to capitalise on the need for graphite within clean energy products.
Having forecasted the growing demand for items like lithium-ion batteries which require ten times more graphite than lithium, the size of exploration target makes it abundantly clear why BlackEarth targeted the Maniry Project.
BEM has identified the right material in the right jurisdiction, and have plenty of it.
Given the magnitude of BEM’s resource estimate, it’s incredible that BlackEarth’s market capitalisation currently sits at just $7.9 million
This could all change shortly with the Company having recently commenced its first scoping study, being completed by BatteryLimits Pty Ltd, of which Hearse is a Director – a project advisory firm that has specialised in the mining sector for 15 years, and has worked on multiple graphite projects as well as with mining conglomerates.
The appointment of BatteryLimits has BlackEarth scheduled to complete this scoping study by the end of the year, which would be a major achievement for the explorer.
Considering the goals BlackEarth are kicking and its 260 – 380mT exploration target*, it may only be a matter of time before that $7.9 million market cap is a distant memory.