Steamboat Graphite is a South African based graphite project. Yes, that’s right, there is graphite in South Africa, not just gold and platinum! For those who don’t know Graphite is a form of elemental carbon that is usually found as veins, lenses, pockets, and as thin laminae disseminated in gneisses, schists and phyllites. Graphite is fast becoming one of the most sought-after commodities for its use in creating graphene. Graphene is hailed as a wonder material as its properties include being ultra-light yet immensely tough, 200 times stronger than steel, but it is incredibly flexible, it is the thinnest material possible as well as being transparent, and if that wasn’t enough it is a superb conductor and can act as a perfect barrier – not even helium can pass through it.
The Steamboat deposit was discovered in 1943 but the lack of a significant graphite market meant that the historical exploration conducted did not progress to a mining phase. However, today’s and the futures demands for graphite makes the Steamboat Graphite an exciting project.
The Steamboat Graphite deposit is located in the Blouberg District of the Limpopo Province, approximately 50km Southwest of Alldays. It is hosted within a graphitic gneiss of the Gumbu Group of the Beit Bridge Complex. These rocks have been intensely deformed, folded and sheared. Tight isoclinal folding is primarily responsible for the structures and metamorphic conditions that have resulted in the graphite mineralisation in the area.
So where is the project at? Well it is about to take off!
Here’s what Minrom has achieved:
- Phase 1 (current phase)
- Evaluate and incorporate historical data, (completed)
- Geologically model historical drilling data (completed)
- Field Mapping (completed)
- Verification of historical mapping,
- Additional detailed site mapping (where necessary),
- Surface sampling (to verify historical sampling data),
- Mini bulk sample for metallurgical testing
- Floatation – to produce a graphite flake concentrate (in progress)