The South Australian Government has granted a mineral lease (ML) for Lincoln Minerals’ wholly owned Kookaburra Gully graphite project.

Located 35km north-west of Port Lincoln, the deposit extends to at least 125m depth.

The ML 6460 of 300ha has been granted over MCs 4372 and 4373 to the company’s wholly owned subsidiary Australian Graphite for 21-years.

Lincoln Minerals chairman Yubo Jin said: "The grant of ML 6460 is the key pivot point and milestone to ensure delivery of Lincoln’s transformation now from project explorer and developer to an emerging graphite producer, in an industry at the forefront of the growing global green energy market.

"Engineering studies at the site are in progress."

"It is also the de-risking stepchange awaited by our potential project financiers and off-take customers to now elevate mine construction financing and operating negotiations to a level where commercial transaction outcomes can be achieved."

The company now plans to finalise Kookaburra Gully’s programme for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR).

Earlier in May this year, Lincoln completed a geotechnical and resource diamond drilling programme, soil engineering test pits and also established a groundwater and surface water monitoring network at the proposed mine site.

Engineering studies at the site are in progress.

Upon receiving approval for PEPR, Lincoln plans to commence project development at Kookaburra Gully.

Lincoln Minerals managing director Dr John Parker said: "Lincoln will now work closely with the DSD, the District Council of Tumby Bay, the southern Eyre Peninsula community and other stakeholders throughout the PEPR preparation and approval process to facilitate its early completion, clearing the way for mine construction and production targeted to commence in 2017."