Graphite developer Walkabout Resources (ASX: WKT) is pleased to announce that its mine construction schedule is on track, providing the following update on activities supporting the development of its 100% owned Lindi Jumbo Graphite Mine in south eastern Tanzania.
Engineering, Procurement and Construction Mobilisation
Lindi Jumbo Limited, a company incorporated in the Republic of Tanzania and a 100% owned subsidiary of WKT, initiated the second material project development agreement for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of the Lindi Jumbo Graphite Process Plant with Yantai Jinpeng Mining and Machinery Co. Limited (Jinpeng). A mobilisation payment of approximately US$1.6 million was approved by the Independent Project Manager and CRDB Bank in Tanzania.
Jinpeng – a mid-sized, family-owned private manufacturing and construction engineering business with ~400 employees based in Yantai, China – is experienced in building graphite processing plants both locally and internationally. Jinpeng also procured and manufactured the long-lead items as part of the Early Start contract completed in 2019.
Walkabout Resources’ CEO, Andrew Cunningham commented, “Despite constructing a mine in a time when travel is restricted, our strategic network of delivery partners including our longstanding working relationship with Jinpeng has ensured Walkabout is in an agile position to meet agreed development targets. Not only do Jinpeng understand Lindi Jumbo through their close involvement in the front-end engineering and flowsheet design of the processing plant, Axis Group mitigates any potential risk acting on our behalf during the QA and loading stages.
We are pleased to partner with such an experienced manufacturer of graphite processing plants as we set up for production from this standout graphite deposit.
During the past week on site, I have been inspecting site bulk earthworks together with the executive team of our civils contractor, TNR. The progress being made is aligned with our construction schedule and am confident that the progress of Lindi Jumbo is in good hands. ”
The EPC contract includes procurement, manufacture, shipping, erection and commissioning of the process plant including but not limited to:
- The 840 tpd Processing Plant from Run of Mine (ROM) pad to the bagging and dispatch section;
- Moveable equipment;
- Steel structure buildings;
- Miscellaneous equipment, tools and spares;
- Motor Control Centre’s (MCC’s);
- Dry and wet commissioning; and
- Training of Lindi Jumbo’s operations personnel.
While the EPC contract has been activated, the Company is working with Jinpeng on a number of minor contractual details such as mandatory Tanzanian insurances and shipping. Once settled a final EPC contract will be finalised. An initiation payment of US$1.6 million on the EPC contract will protect the project schedule and enable work in China to get underway. The signed EPC contract is a condition precedent of the Lindi Jumbo project loan drawdown.
Appointment of Axis Group International
With the current global travel restrictions in place, management are not able to attend and oversee the manufacture of the plant in Yantai. As such, the Company has recently signed a contract with Axis Group International to act as the Lindi Jumbo representative in Jinpeng – China for overall project scheduling and management, quality management (QA/QC, inspection, loading supervision, etc.) and expediting including packaging and loading supervision. Axis Group has recent experience in working with Jinpeng on other African projects and the Company is leveraging this experience which includes the shipment of equipment from Jinpeng to Tanzania.
Siteworks in Tanzania
Site bulk earthworks have commenced and are focussed on the critical site areas that tie in with the EPC and equipment shipment schedule. Terracing, levelling at the processing plant area and the construction and upgrading of the access and internal roads are progressing well. The first concrete batch plant has arrived on site and the civils contractor (TNR) will commence with the concrete work once the necessary preparatory earthworks have been completed.
Baseline monitoring and sampling of the water-borefield has been ongoing for a number of years with the extraction permit being approved by the Tanzanian waterboard. Pumping facilities will now be installed at the fully equipped borefield to enable the extraction of water for construction and later commissioning activities.