Valence Industries receives approval for Uley graphite production

By / 5th of January, 2015

GRAPHITE producer Valence Industries has received regulatory approvals for its mining and manufacturing facilities at Uley, South Australia.

Valence owns the only operating graphite mine in Australia. They will commence deliveries of flake graphite to customers in Asia Pacific, Europe and America within the month.

Managing Director and CEO Christopher Darby said that Valence was unique in Australia due to their ore reserve and operating plant.

"The Valence Industries team is keen to demonstrate the wealth of potential at Uley. We have a corporate goal of value adding to our graphite through advanced manufacturing processes and this remains firmly in our sights," Darby said.

The approvals will allow Valence Industries to commence commercial scale graphite production from existing stockpiles of about 260,000 tonnes using their Phase I plant. It also allows them to construct and operate their Phase II plant expansion and commence mining from Uley Pit 2.

The company estimates an initial life of mine of 6 years at Uley Pit 2, with a production plan of around 2 million tonnes of ore.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis commended the company on their focus of creating local jobs.

"The recommencement of operations at the Uley graphite mine represents another small but important step in developing the State's mineral resources for the benefit of our regional communities," Koutsantonis said.

"This is great news for the Eyre Peninsula, with the first stage of operations at Uley to employ about 35 staff, predominantly locals."

The process required in depth assessment of Valence Industries' mining plans to ensure the mine could be operated safely and sustainably.

Uley is located on the lower Eyre Peninsula, 23 kilometres south west of Port Lincoln. Lincoln Minerals and Archer Exploration are currently developing two other graphite project proposals for the Eyre Peninsula.