The Ministry of Minerals of Tanzania has granted the licence for the project in the country’s southeast.
Walkabout director Allan Mulligan said, “The mining licence approval is the final major legislative requirement for the project.
“We are acutely aware of the particular efforts of many responsible government officials and Walkabout representatives in reaching this milestone and I personally thank all the parties for their input and interest.
“The Mining Commission, in particular, has been particularly efficient in this process.”
“We have also been assured by the Ministry of Minerals of Tanzania of their support and willingness to assist the emerging mining industry in Tanzania in meeting those regulatory obligations required to facilitate mine development and grow the industry.”
Upon paying the fee and accepting the technical detail, Walkabout will be authorised to finalise the on-site Relocation Assistance Program (RAP), which is in advanced valuation draft from the Chief Government Valuer.
EPC agreement can now be finalised
In addition, final construction plans at the mine site can now be agreed and the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement with construction partner, Yantai Jinpeng Mining and Machinery Co Ltd can be finalised.
This will set in motion the manufacture and supply orders for final plant equipment.
Granting of the mining licence also allows Walkabout to further progress advanced project funding options, which have been pending this milestone.
Walkabout is developing the high-grade Lindi Jumbo project to take advantage of forecast market conditions for large and jumbo flake graphite products.
29.8 million tonne resource
The project hosts a JORC 2012-compliant measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource of 29.8 million tonnes at an estimated grade of 10.9 % total graphitic carbon (TGC).
This resource contains a super high-grade core of 4.7 million tonnes at 22.8% TGC for 1,076,500 tonnes of contained graphite, making it the highest mineable graphite resource in Tanzania.
There are also several exploration targets in the area around the existing resource.
Planned annual production is 40,000 tonnes at a concentrate grade of 95-97% TGC.
The project will benefit from a low opex of US$292 per tonne at mine gate and US$352 per tonne free on board.
Walkabout is also exploring in southern Namibia at the Eureka Lithium Project with known lithium occurrences targeted for exploration.
The company has also acquired an exploration portfolio for gold and base metals in Northern Ireland and is participating in the Tyrone Joint Venture where cobalt, copper and silver occurrences are being explored.