Graphite developer Triton Minerals has struck a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China’s Qingdao Jinhui Graphite Company that could result in the development of the Ancuabe graphite project, in Mozambique.
The two companies will now start technical, legal and commercial due diligence and continue negotiations to execute a binding agreement within the next six months.
It was envisaged that the binding agreements would include a direct project-level investment of up to 10% of the Ancuabe project, financing support through concessional debt equipment financing facilities, the offtake of up to 15 000 t/y of graphite concentrate from Ancuabe, and technical collaboration for value-added processing that will see the Ancuabe graphite supplied into China’s flame retardant, refractories and battery markets.
“This MoU with Jinhui is a significant endorsement of the Ancuabe project,” said Triton MD Peter Canterbury.
“It is further evidence that Chinese domestic producers are now actively looking to East Africa to expand and diversify their high purity and large flake supply chains in preparation for the significant growth anticipated in the battery and flame-retardant materials markets.”
Canterbury said that the MoU was also complementary to Triton’s financing discussions in China, which were progressing well.
A definitive feasibility study on the Ancuabe project estimated that it would require pre-production capital of $99.4-million to build a mine that is capable of producing about 60 000 t/y of graphite concentrate.