Following several months of talks, Richland Resources Ltd is on the verge of selling its rights to the historic, open-sky graphite mine at Merelani to Kibaran Resources Ltd. The agreement will be set up through the intermediary of TanzaniteOne, a wholly owned affiliate of Richland that already mines the precious blue gems named tanzanites underground at Merelani.
Kibaran is also in concomitant talks with Tanzania’s State Mining Corporation (Stamico) on setting up a joint venture partnership. The last deliveries of graphite concentrates from Merelani date back to 1998. At the time, graphite and tanzanite ore was crushed together but then treated separately.
According to our sources, Kibaran plans to spend $2 million on updating the graphite resource and also taking a close look at the former processing plant with the idea of recycling some of its parts. The deal with Richmond allows the latter to return to its core business of gems and enables Kibaran to considerably raise its profile after carrying out lengthy reconnaissance work in the area around the old mine. The explorer signed an off-take accord with a leading European trader for its future output of graphite. One of its directors, John Park, is a former director of Samax Gold, ex-operator of the Merelani graphite mine. (Africa Mining Intelligence)