South Africa’s IDC approves loan for Tanzania graphite project

15th March 2024 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

Tanzanian graphite developer Black Rock Mining has successfully secured the necessary debt facilities required to advance its Mahenge project, with a new senior term loan from South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) completing the financing package crucial to get the mine into production.

The IDC has approved a senior term loan of $53.9-million for the project. Together with the previously announced $59.6-million from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), Black Rock now has all the key approvals for the targeted term loan for the project.

The loan terms remain subject to documentation, but the loan tenor is expected to be seven years and the interest rate will be based on the secured overnight financing rate, or SOFR, plus a margin, ASX-listed Black Rock states.

Ultimately, funding for the project to reach production will require both debt and equity. Black Rock previously signed a memorandum of understanding with its strategic alliance partner, Posco, for a potential cornerstone equity position in Black Rock of up to $40-million. Final approvals for this investment are expected shortly, the company notes.

Black Rock aims to have Module 1 at Mahenge in production in 2026.

The definitive feasibility study for the project considers a four-stage construction schedule to deliver up to 340 000 t/y of 98.5% graphite concentrate for 26 years of 98.5% LOI premium graphite flake concentrate with the ability to produce ultra purity flake of 99% LOI.