ASX-listed graphite developer Walkabout Resources says mine construction at its Lindi Jumbo graphite mine development, in south-eastern Tanzania, is on track.
The company has started the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Yantai Jinpeng Mining Machinery.
A payment of about $1.6-million was made to initiate the procurement and construction of processing plant equipment and materials.
With the current global travel restrictions in place, Walkabout’s management is not able to attend and oversee the manufacture of the plant. As such, Axis Group International has been appointed as company representative in China to oversee the EPC project management.
Earthmoving and civils site works are continuing with a focus on the processing plant construction schedule.
“Despite constructing a mine in a time when travel is restricted, our strategic network of delivery partners, including our longstanding working relationship with Jinpeng, has ensured Walkabout is in an agile position to meet agreed development targets.
“Not only does Jinpeng understand Lindi Jumbo through its close involvement in the front-end engineering and flowsheet design of the processing plant, Axis Group mitigates any potential risk acting on our behalf during the quality assurance and loading stages,” Walkabout CEO Andrew Cunningham says.
“During the past week on site, I have been inspecting site bulk earthworks together with the executive team of our civils contractor TNR. The progress being made is aligned with our construction schedule and I am confident that the progress of Lindi Jumbo is in good hands,” he adds.
The EPC contract includes procurement, manufacture, shipping, erection and commissioning of the process plant.
This includes, but is not limited to the 840 t/d processing plant from the run-of-mine pad to the bagging and dispatch section; moveable equipment; steel structure buildings; miscellaneous equipment, tools and spares; motor control centres; dry and wet commissioning; and training of Lindi Jumbo’s operations personnel.
While the EPC contract has been activated, Walkabout is working with Jinpeng on a number of minor contractual details such as mandatory Tanzanian insurance and shipping.
Once settled, a final EPC contract will be finalised.
An initiation payment of $1.6-million on the EPC contract will protect the project schedule and enable work in China to get under way.
The signed EPC contract is a condition precedent of the Lindi Jumbo project loan drawdown.
Site bulk earthworks in Tanzania have started and are focussed on the critical site areas that tie in with the EPC and equipment shipment schedule.
Terracing, levelling at the processing plant area and the construction and upgrading of the access and internal roads are progressing well.
The first concrete batch plant has arrived on site and civils contractor TNR will start with the concrete work once the necessary preparatory earthworks have been completed.