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South Star Battery Metals Announces Application Submittal for the Full Mining License Doubling Production at its Santa Cruz Graphite Project and Update on Small-Scale Pilot Metallurgical Testing Program for Alabama Graphite Project

·5 min read
South Star Battery Metals Corp.
South Star Battery Metals Corp.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- South Star Battery Metals Corp. (“South Star” or the “Company”) (TSXV: STS) (OTCQB: STSBD), is pleased to announce that it has submitted the Planned Economic Analysis (“PAE”) and the request for the final mining license (“concessão de lavra”) to the Brazilian Mining Authority (“ANM”) on August 15th, 2022 for the Claims 872.735/2010, 872.736/2010, 871.053/2011 and 871.524/2013 which is where the Phase 2 and 3 facilities are planned. The proposed PAE doubles the Santa Cruz production capacity presented in the previously released PFS (March 2020) and incorporates a third phase of project development. The planned production schedule follows:

  • 2 years with 5,000 tonnes per year (“tpy”) of concentrates (Phase 1);

  • 2 years with 25,000 tpy of concentrates (Phase 2); &

  • Life of mine (“LOM”) with 50,000 tpy of concentrates (Phase 3).

In February of 2022 (See Press Releases from February 9th and 24th) the final exploration reports for all of the Company’s 13 claims were approved by the ANM. The PAE for 872.737/2010 was previously submitted August 1st, 2022 (See Press Releases from August 2nd). The approval of the PAEs and mining licenses is the final step in securing the LOM mining license for each of the exploration claims and converting them to mining concessions. The environmental field work for the 3 phased production schedule is scheduled to begin in Q3 of 2022, and the Company intends to submit all the environmental documents for review and comment by early Q1 of 2023.

Phase 1 operations are fully licensed with a trial mining license (“GU”) and associated environmental license. South Star has paid the municipal building permit for construction of the Phase 1 plant, mine and infrastructure, and the Company anticipates the permit should be issued by Itabela shortly.

In addition, the three tonnes of ore from the Ceylon Graphite Project in Coosa County, Alabama have been delivered to North Carolina State Mineral Research Laboratory (“MRL”) and testing should begin shortly (See Press Releases from May 3rd). The goal of the program is to create a representative 1 tonne ore sample to retest and confirm processing methods and reagents from previous process work. The small-scale pilot test will also generate approximately 15-18kg of concentrates (> 94% Cg) as well as intermediate products and tailings samples for future geotechnical, chemical, and physical testing programs to better characterize the ore, the tailings as well as final concentrates. The Company anticipates the pilot plant program should be finalized in November 2022. The concentrates will then be used to test for a variety of value-add products as well as minerology, similar to the testing program completed on Santa Cruz Graphite concentrates (See March 1, 2021 press release).

Richard Pearce, CEO of South Star, said, “We submitted 4 additional PAEs incorporating a third phase doubling the production to 50,000 tpy and adding future operational flexibility. The 5 areas we have submitted requesting the definitive mining license incorporate all the facilities and structures required for Phase 2/3 and contain the main 7.5km strike that has been identified. All the 43-101 reserves estimated to date are located on these 5 claims, and we are open at depth and in both directions along strike. Our goals are to work towards having the mining licenses and environmental permits for the 5-7 priority claims approved around the time we are commissioning our Phase 1 facilities in mid 2023. This will allow us to advance quickly with Phase 2/3 financing alternatives. We have also started the pilot plant testing program on Ceylon ore and look forward to reviewing those results in November. We will work hard with our partners to have the first two new graphite mines in the Americas brought online and the first in the United States. We have two great assets in key jurisdictions and an experienced team with the technical and commercial expertise to bring these operations online and be profitable moving forward. An introductory overview video of the Ceylon Project has been added to our website and posted to social media.”

ABOUT SOUTH STAR BATTERY METALS CORP

South Star Battery Metals Corp. is a Canadian battery metals project developer focused on the selective acquisition and development of near-term production projects in the Americas. South Star’s Santa Cruz Graphite Project, located in Southern Bahia, Brazil is the first of a series of industrial and battery metals projects that will be put into production. Brazil is the second-largest graphite-producing region in the world with more than 80 years of continuous mining. Santa Cruz has at-surface mineralization in friable materials, and successful large-scale pilot-plant testing (>30t) has been completed. The results of the testing show that approximately 65% of Cg concentrate is +80 mesh with good recoveries and 95%-99% Cg. With excellent infrastructure and logistics, South Star is carrying its development plan towards Phase 1 production projected in Q3 2023.

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

South Star is committed to a corporate culture, project execution plan and safe operations that embrace the highest standards of ESG principles based on transparency, stakeholder engagement, ongoing education and stewardship. To learn more, please visit the Company website at http://www.southstarbatterymetals.com.

This news release has been reviewed and approved by Richard Pearce, P.E., a "Qualified Person" under National Instrument 43-101 and President and CEO of South Star Battery Metals Corp.

On behalf of the Board,

Mr. Richard Pearce
Chief Executive Officer

For additional information, please contact:

South Star Investor Relations (Canada IR)

Email: invest@southstarbatterymetals.com
+1 (604) 706-0212 x3002

RBMG – RB Milestone Group LLC (IR US)
Trevor Brucato, Managing Director
Email: southstar@rbmilestone.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/southstarbm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/southstarbatterymetals
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/southstarbatterymetals/
YouTube: South Star Battery Metals - YouTube

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking statements relate to information that is based on assumptions of management, forecasts of future results, and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. Any statements that express predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not statements of historical fact and may be "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: moving Santa Cruz into production and scaling operations as well as advancing the Alabama project; and the Company’s plans and expectations.

Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to failure to obtain adequate financing on a timely basis and on acceptable terms; risks related to the outcome of legal proceedings; political and regulatory risks associated with mining and exploration; risks related to the maintenance of stock exchange listings; risks related to environmental regulation and liability; the potential for delays in exploration or development activities or the completion of feasibility studies; the uncertainty of profitability; risks and uncertainties relating to the interpretation of drill results, the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; risks related to the inherent uncertainty of production and cost estimates and the potential for unexpected costs and expenses; results of prefeasibility and feasibility studies, and the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations; risks related to commodity price fluctuations; and other risks and uncertainties related to the Company's prospects, properties and business detailed elsewhere in the Company's disclosure record. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances. Actual events or results could differ materially from the Company's expectations or projections.