Paul Sanger: I am Paul Sanger for the Finance News Network, and today we’re talking with Lincoln Minerals, ASX Code LML, and they have a market cap of around 12 million.
Lincoln Minerals is developing the Kookaburra Gully Graphite Project in South Australia. We welcome the newly appointed CEO of Lincoln Minerals, Jonathon Trewartha. Jonathon, welcome to the network.
Jonathon Trewartha: Thank you very much. Pleasure to be here.
Paul Sanger: So Jonathon, it’s the first time that we’ve had you on the network. Can you give us a brief introduction to Lincoln Minerals?
Jonathon Trewartha: So Lincoln Minerals is a graphite-focused company. It’s main project is Kookaburra Gully, which is located in Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, 30Ks out of Port Lincoln. It’s got a mining lease. It’s got a feasibility study. We’re currently drilling to increase the resource.
The project was a stalled feasibility, which we’ve taken on. And that feasibility was stalled because in 2018, the company went into – the senior management team and the board had a misalignment. The strategy was a small-scale strategy and then it went to the board wanted a larger scale, so then it went into the company was stalled for four years. It came out and got refinanced, new shareholders, new board, which was great. That was last year. And then there were two takeover that they had to defend. So that slowed the company for the last year.
And now I’m on board, and we’re focused on developing the project to get it into mining.
Paul Sanger: As I said, you’re obviously the recently appointed CEO. So what exactly attracted you to Lincoln Minerals?
Jonathon Trewartha: This project’s got everything. I’ve developed a couple of other projects, and this has got the most I’ve seen. It basically got a high grade deposit. It’s at surface, so it’s into cash flow straight away. It’s got a mining lease. So that’s one of the biggest hurdles for a junior nowadays. It’s got close to infrastructure. The feasibility was plus 33%. Now, that was on a name plate of 36,000, but we are planning to increase that. So it’s got all the elements for us to just pick it up and run with it.
Paul Sanger: And to that point, in your first few months, what are the three main areas you’re going to focus on?
Jonathon Trewartha: It’s going to be build the resource. So we’re targeting to double or triple the production rate and the feasibility. So we’re going to have to double the resource. So that’s the first job.
The second job is that we’ve got an expiration target that was done in 2014. The expiration target was 32 million to 92 million. Now there’s been three drill programs since then and they’ve all come up with the graphite. For an example, there’s one of them that is 100 holes, 70 of them hit the ore. So the expiration target is real, and that one of the best holes was 32 meters at 12%. So a good hit. So what we’ve got to do is take all that information, recalibrate it, and demonstrate that we have got enough downstream.
And then my third one is I’ve got a treasure chest of all the studies and all the geotech and the met and everything. And I’ve got to go through that and then come up with a development schedule. What’s missing, what do we need, and then come up with a development schedule.
Paul Sanger: It’s got a bit of homework to do over the next few months.
Jonathon Trewartha: It’s going to be busy Christmas.
Paul Sanger: And Jonathon, the company already has a defined mineral resource at Kookaburra Gully. Can you give us some detail on the resource in terms of size, grade, and how this compares to other resources within Australia?
Jonathon Trewartha: Yep. So we’re currently sitting at 6.4 million tons at about 9.5%. That’s a solid basis. As I said, we’re going to double that. The comparing to the others, the next project is Quantum Graphics, which is a yearly project. We’re actually at the same size at the moment, and we are going to be drilling next month. So we’ll be growing that. And then the other one up the road is Renesco Savor’s project, and that’s significantly more.
But our job and our focus is to get a 10-year mine life at about double or triple. That’s all I want, because then I can get the finance. And then I’m going to spend money to show that I’ve got a pipeline for increase in mine life, but I’d rather spend that money developing rather than just building a massive resource. So I doubt that we’ll ever be the biggest resource in the world.
Paul Sanger: Yep. And the resource capital rating has now provided necessary funding to obviously drill further. What are the dream plans and what impact can this have on the current drill resource?
Jonathon Trewartha: Yeah, so we’ve got two programs. One before Christmas, which we’ll be focusing on extending the North from the existing pit. And we’ve got two great targets there. And that will not put too many tons on, but it’ll be right next to the pit. Then the next, after Christmas, we’ll be focusing down the south and we’ll be taking that expiration target and converting more of that into resource.
Paul Sanger: And what advantages does the location of the Eyre Peninsula provide to future development?
Jonathon Trewartha: Currently, it’s got infrastructure. We don’t have to have our workforce. There’s an existing talented workforce. But most importantly, its jurisdiction. We’re in one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world, and I think that will play to our advantage in the coming future.
Paul Sanger: Now, just to finish up, to close up to date, I’d like to get your thoughts on the recent news out of China; They’re going to curb exports from the 1st of December of graphite products. This has caused a bit of panic in the market and I would suggest has a positive impact for future graphite producers like Lincoln.
Jonathon Trewartha: Yeah, exactly. I mean, it has caused panic and it will give us the impetus and the wind in the sails, and there’s more focus on us, which is great. So my job now coming up is to (… We’re not known as well because we’ve been not in the media circles for a while), my job is to get that message that we’re here and we’re developing the mine.
Paul Sanger: Jonathon Trewartha, many thanks for your time today.
Jonathon Trewartha: Pleasure. Thank you.