South Star plans to start Alabama graphite drilling test this month

British Columbia firm hopes to tap Alabama graphite deposits for rapidly expanding electric vehicle battery market

South Star Battery Metals, based in British Columbia, has announced plans to begin test drilling this month in Alabama’s Ceylon graphite deposit.

Last December, South Star announced plans to purchase the Ceylon Graphite Project from Australian firm Hexagon Energy Materials Limited. This week it announced that it has contracted with a drilling firm “for the maiden diamond (“DDH”) drilling campaign to begin in September 2022.”

The Alabama project includes drilling 10 to 15 holes, logging and assays, background water quality testing, geotechnical drilling plus drill pad construction and reclamation.

Map shows location of Ceylon graphite deposit.

Richard Pearce, CEO of South Star, said, “We are excited to get the maiden drilling campaign started in Alabama and test the extents of the mineralization. This initial drilling campaign will be focused on testing limits and generating significant targets for the 2023 drilling campaign, which will ultimately result in a Preliminary Economic Assessment.”

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As background to its announcement, South Star commented: “South Star’s next project in the development pipeline is a project in Alabama located in the middle of a developing electric vehicle, aerospace and defence hub in the southeastern United States. The Project is a historic mine active during World Wars I & II. Trenching, sampling, analysis and preliminary metallurgic testing has been completed. The testing indicated a traditional crush/grind/flotation concentration circuit achieved grades of approximately 96-97% with approximately 86% recoveries. South Star is executing on its plan to create a multi-asset, diversified battery metals company with near-term operations in strategic jurisdictions.”

The South Star project lies in the same graphite-rich belt of Alabama as the graphite processing plant now under construction in Coosa County by Colorado-based Westwater Resources. Graphite is a key component in lithium-ion batteries and in other types of batteries.

South Star trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol STS, and on the OTCQB under the symbol STSBF. Westwater trades on the NYSE American under the symbol WWR.

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