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Leading Edge delivers positive PEA for its Woxna graphite project in Sweden

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(Kitco News) - Leading Edge Materials (TSXV: LEM) today announced positive results of a preliminary economic assessment ("PEA") for the development of its 100%-owned Woxna graphite mine and vertically integrated anode material production located in Sweden.

The PEA assumes conventional open-pit drill and blast combined with trucks and shovel mining methods that have been selected to be operated by a local specialist mining contractor, to maximise the operational efficiency, provide flexibility, and potentially lower investment risk to the project.

The life of mine of Woxna is 15 years, with average annual coated spherical purified graphite production of 7,435 tonnes, and average annual micronized graphite production of 8,421 tonnes.

Leading Edge pointed out that the report shows a "financially robust" project with pre-tax NPV of $317 million using an 8% discount rate, average annual EBITDA of $49 million and a pre-tax IRR of 42.9%. Pre-tax payback period from first production is 2.24 years.

The company said that the PEA indicates the potential viability of a Swedish operation producing battery grade graphite anode material utilizing an existing graphite mine and concentrator with the addition of a value-add processing facility offsite.

The proposed process route in the PEA uses a thermal purification process which, combined with access to low cost hydropower offers a low carbon footprint for the project to be further demonstrated in an upcoming life cycle assessment report, Leading Edge explained.

The company said that the PEA utilizes one out of four deposits currently owned by Woxna under granted exploitation concessions, where two of the other deposits also have indicated and inferred mineral resource estimates offering potential upside for further expansion in future development or studies.

Leading Edge Materials is a Canadian public company focused on developing a portfolio of critical raw material projects located in the European Union. The portfolio of projects includes the 100% owned Woxna graphite mine (Sweden), Norra Kärr HREE project (Sweden) and the 51% owned Bihor Sud nickel cobalt exploration alliance (Romania).

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