The Government of Sri Lanka has granted the firm exploration rights on land covering 120 sq km, which cover areas of historic graphite production.
Graphite mined from the country is known to be some of the purest in the world but accounts for less than 1% of global production.
“We performed way above expectations in 2018 and I hope we can take this momentum into 2019," said Bharat Parashar, CEO at Ceylon.
"Commercial production as soon as possible is the initial goal, but we will need to develop upgrading capabilities very quickly and follow it up with long term contracts.
“Battery and other energy storage equipment manufacturers want our material.
"They have seen samples and like what they see but want it in volume now. It is now up to us to meet these expectations and I am confident we can.”
Among the highlights last year was the discovery of six large graphite veins at the group's K1 site. Assay results indicate 97.61% graphite.
Also, graphite obtained from the K1 site was found to be upgradeable and meets specifications of key battery grade graphite with a final carbon content of 99.96%.
Meanwhile, graphite at the group's M1 site graphite assayed at 98.89%.
Other highlights included an assay of graphite from its P1 site of 96.13% and the completion of a C$2 million financing.
Ceylon Graphite's goals for 2019 include:
- File EIA (environment impact analysis) or IEE (initial environment examination) to obtain an environmental protection license (EPL) for the K1 site by the end of the first quarter and for the M1 site by the end of the second quarter of 2019;
- Commence commercial production;
- Expand the exploration work to at least three new sites;
- Develop a processing capability in Sri Lanka; and
- Establish tangible long-term contracts with the battery/energy storage equipment manufacturers.
Also in today's press release, the firm announced it had struck a share for debt arrangement in which it will issue 384,500 shares at a deemed price of C$0.20 per share to settle a debt of C$76,900.
Shares in Toronto ticked up 3.7% to $0.14
Contact Giles at [email protected]