The board of graphite developer Triton Minerals has approved the $99.4-million development of its Ancuabe graphite project, in Mozambique.
Early works at the mine have started, including earthworks for the development of the raw water dam needed for construction and operations. Site access roads are also being repaired following the wet season, to provide access for construction equipment and fuel tanks, while camp construction has also started.
Triton said on Friday that the project construction was expected to start in the second half of 2018, subject to final approvals and financing, with first graphite production targeted for the second half of 2019.
Triton MD Peter Canterbury told shareholders that the development of Ancuabe will deliver substantial benefits for the Mozambique government, stakeholders and communities in the region.
“The substantial work undertaken by Triton during 2018 has confirmed the board’s confidence in Ancuabe and enabled the board to make this development decision only 18 months from the discovery of the T16 deposit.
“We are seeing continued strong demand and pricing for the high-purity, large flake graphite products that will be produced at Ancuabe,” Canterbury added.
He noted that given the strong interest shown by strategic investors, industry players and financiers, Triton was confident of securing investment capital for the project to enable construction to start on time.
Ancuabe is expected to produce some 60 000 t/y of graphite concentrate to generate yearly revenues of $82.6-million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation margins averaging 53% over a 27-year evaluation period.
Triton has already secured binding offtake agreements for up to 50% of the planned annual production at Ancuabe, has submitted a mining concession application and received preliminary environmental approval.