Western Australia has numerous recorded graphite prospects and occurrences. Almost all are found in graphitic schists or gneisses derived from the metamorphism of carbonaceous sedimentary rocks ranging from Archean to Mesoproterozoic age.
Higher prices on world graphite markets have resulted from increased demand for high-grade, large flake graphite for the refractories industry (the world’s largest graphite consumer) and for new-found demand for high-tech graphite applications such as lithium-ion batteries for electric cars (see left image above).
Accordingly, many countries including Australia have recommenced exploration to prove up new and existing deposits of high-grade flake graphite.
Prior to 2015, only small tonnages of graphite were mined in Western Australia, mostly from the Munglinup deposit in the far south of the State. In the east Kimberley region, the McIntosh deposit has been identified as having five high-grade graphite targets (see right image above).
These potential mining operations, together with existing graphite deposits such as Munglinup, with an estimated resource of 1.47 Mt at 18.2% total carbon, should stand Western Australia in a favourable position for future exports of high-grade flake and finer grade graphite products into world markets.
Mineral Resource Bulletin 26 Graphite in Western Australia by JM Fetherston is the principal source for information on graphite occurrences in Western Australia.
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Mineral Resource Bulletin 26 Graphite in Western Australia
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