JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX newcomer Graphex Mining will commence with detailed negotiations next month regarding offtake and development finance for its Chilalo graphite project, in Tanzania, following a successful five-day site visit last week by China Gold Group Investment and CN Docking Joint Investment and Development, a subsidiary of China National Building Material Group Corporation (CNBM).
Graphex advised on Thursday that, while formal agreement could not be reached until completion of confirmatory due diligence by these parties, detailed negotiations on such terms were expected to continue within the next month.
In addition to China Gold and CNBM, the site visit delegation included representatives from Suzhou Design & Research Institute of Non-Metallic Minerals Industry, an independent testing authority engaged by China Gold and CNBM to conduct confirmatory due diligence on the Chilalo graphite project.
Arrangements were being made to deliver a 500 kg representative sample of Chilalo ore to Suzhou for confirmatory metallurgical testwork to verify previous testwork conducted by China Gold and CN Docking.
Meetings were also held with various Tanzanian government departments and officials, logistics providers and the Mtwara Port Authority.
Graphex MD Phil Hoskins was pleased with the meetings; he noted that the Chinese delegation was particularly encouraged by the overall support for the Chilalo project and the significant progress made by Graphex in positioning itself to readily advance development of Chilalo.
“In sending a delegation of eight experienced technical experts on the site visit and engaging Suzhou to conduct a confirmatory testwork programme as the final stages of due diligence, China Gold and CNBM have demonstrated their commitment to the project.
“We were very pleased with the feedback received on the site visit regarding the high quality of Chilalo graphite, the capability of management and the quality of existing infrastructure,” said Hoskins.
“This site visit has only strengthened their interest in the project and the exceptional quality of Chilalo graphite.”