Tanzania grants Magnis approval to operate graphite processing plant

9th March 2018 By: Megan van Wyngaardt - Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Tanzania has granted Australia’s Magnis Resources approval for a graphite processing plant in a designated special economic zone (SEZ) to process graphite mined from the Nachu mine.

The SEZ is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Industry, Trade and Investment, and is not subject to the changes in the mining legislation promulgated last year. 

The SEZ licence for production of value-added graphite products is the only such license to be granted in Tanzania, which is pushing for the implementation of large projects that will add value to the country’s economy and development.

Following the introduction of new mining sector legislation in Tanzania during the second half of 2017, Magnis has continued to progress discussions with the government regarding the development of the mining and processing projects.   Those discussions led to Magnis submitting a proposal outlining that the entire Nachu processing plant will operate under a 100% subsidiary, Magnis Technology Tanzania (MTT) in the SEZ licence area, with the products from the SEZ continuing to be advanced graphite products that can be made using Magnis’ proprietary technology.

Magnis is also the parent company of Uranex Tanzania.

MTT will own and operate 100% of the company’s processing plant at Nachu under the laws applicable to the SEZ under the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) with the objective of promoting investment in Tanzania. 

MTT will initially produce refined jumbo and super jumbo flake products and spheroidal graphite products for the lithium-ion battery market, while Uranex will operate under the laws and regulations applicable to the country’s mining industry under the Ministry of Minerals.

President John Magufuli has set Tanzania on a firm path towards industrial development, with the processing of industrial mineral ores at the top of the industrialisation agenda. In this regard, EPZA CEO Joseph Leon Simbakalia said the authority had been mandated by law to play the critical role of promoting and facilitating the establishment of SEZs to host minerals ore beneficiation industries linked to a value chain of associated downstream industries.

“We are pleased to announce with Magnis that Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Charles Mwijage who is also EPZA’s chairperson, already signed to endorse amendment of the Magnis Resources Export Processing Zones made under Government Notice Number 221 of 2017.”

“We look forward to working closely with Magnis by way of facilitation and assistance that will enable execution of this exciting project in optimum time; with the introduction of new technologies to process graphite, as well as the development of new skills for Tanzanians,” said Simbakalia.

Magnis chairperson Frank Poullas said the ongoing support provided to us by the Tanzanian government crystallised the value of the Nachu project and established MTT as an approved graphite processor in Tanzania.

“We look forward to progressing development at Nachu and bringing considerable economic and skills benefits to Tanzania through the development of the mine and the processing operations through MTT,” Poullas added.