MAPUTO– Australian mining company Mustang Resources says it has found high-grade graphite and vanadium at its Caula project in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.

Results from 65 samples taken during test drilling had yields above 15 per cent total graphitic carbon, Mustang announced Monday, adding that these results confirm the high-grade nature of the Caula deposit and establish the project in the top quartile high-grade large flake graphite deposits globally.

The company expects that these results will lead to an expansion of the JORC Inferred Mineral Resource estimate (JORC is the Australian code for reporting mineral resources estimates).

Mustand Resources Managing Director Bernard Olivier said: Caula goes from strength to strength, as these new results show. We have very high graphite grades, substantial widths and a very significant proportion of large and jumbo flake sizes.

“Now, in addition to the outstanding graphite mineralisation, we are establishing the presence of substantial vanadium mineralisation.”

The company’s new strategy is to focus on speeding up the development of the project, and it hopes to deliver its first minerals in the first half of next year.

Graphite is a form of carbon which is highly valued because of its properties as a conductor of electricity. It is used in batteries and fuel cells and is the basis for the miracle material graphene, which is the strongest material ever measured, with vast potential for use in the electronics industries.

Graphite is also used for high-quality steel production.

Vanadium is mainly used as an additive to strengthen steel. However, it is now being used in a new generation of rechargeable batteries.

Despite the announcement, the company’s share price fell by almost eight per cent on the Australian Stock Exchange.