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Australian exploration company Kibaran Resources has begun speeding up production at the Epanko graphite deposit in Tanzania
Andrew Spinks, director of Kibaran Resources, said that the company recently released an updated scoping study for the Epanko deposit, located within the Mahenge graphite project in southeast Tanzania.
The scoping study was conducted following an upgrade to the Joint Ore Reserves Committee-compliant mineral resource, which estimated to an indicated mineral resource of 12.8mn tonnes at 10 per cent total graphitic carbon for 1.28mn tonnes of contained graphite.
According to the study, Epanko is likely to spend US$199mn, with a capital payback period of two-and-a-half years.
In addition, Kibaran Resources has also appointed GR Engineering Services (GRES) to undertake a feasibility and project evaluation study at Epanko. According to the agreement, GRES would provide its services to Kibaran Resources exclusively in terms of graphite projects within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The Australian exploration company even secured its first binding, take-or-pay graphite offtake agreement for the Tanzanian graphite mine in late 2013 with an undisclosed European graphite trader — becoming the first publicly-listed company to secure a binding agreement in Europe.
“The graphite sector is very competitive in terms of securing market share and, as such, Kibaran has actively protected its competitive edge by securing binding agreements, including the exclusive agreement with GRES and by not making public our current and prospective offtake partners prematurely,” added Spinks.
Local reports stated that the above strategy was formed as part of a broader Tanzanian focus, which included an MoU that was agreed to earlier in 2014 with AIM-listed Richland Resources subsidiary Tanzanite One Mining and the Tanzanian State Mining Corporation.