Graphite developer Walkabout Resources has started an integrated “early start” programme for the procurement, manufacturing and site works for the Lindi Jumbo project, in Tanzania.
The “early start” programme is aimed at fast-tracking the project to production to allow the company to capitalise on the predicated high demand for premium flake concentrate.
This early start is aimed at advancing the construction process along its critical path, while project funding is being finalised and negotiated, thereby allowing the preliminary construction work to be completed timeously, Walkabout CEO Trevor Benson told Mining Weekly Online on Friday.
The programme included the start of equipment manufacturing in China and early site works in Tanzania.
This should shorten the project’s construction timeline.
As previously reported, Walkabout has finalised a share placement of A$3.1-million, priced at A$0.23 a share, which will fund the “early start” programme.
The company is working on funding options for the Lindi Jumbo project, for which Walkabout has previously inked two binding offtake agreements accounting for up to 75% of the planned yearly production over the first five years of the operation.
The company is hopeful that further funding will be secured in the next quarter.
Benson indicated that Lindi Jumbo was shovel ready and that production could begin within one year of the required financing being secured.
The 40 000 t/y project is expected to have a mine life of some 24 years and will cost $27.8-million to develop.
Benson said the company had been able to progress the project so quickly and successfully owing to it being a very high-grade, low-cost deposit.
Extensive metallurgical testing has indicated that the company can produce a very high level of graphite flake products at the lowest curve in terms of production. This will facilitate a much higher basket price, and will allow the company to supply many different end-users.