Australian company Walkabout Resources aims to bring its Lindi jumbo graphite project in southern Tanzania into production by as early as 2020.
On the first day of the Paydirt 2019 Battery Minerals Conference held last week, Trevor Benson, CEO of Walkabout Resources, said Lindi is now ‘shovel ready’’ buoyed by the highly positive Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) that has just been released.
The DFS confirmed Lindi’s high average reserve grade of 17.9% which is sufficient to extend the operating life for the proposed mine to 24 years.
Walkabout is currently in the market to raise the project’s AUD40-million of development capital – a capex figure Benson hailed as ‘being on the very low side for a graphite project of this calibre’.
Lindi already has initial concentrate offtake agreements with Chinese and German customers and has concentrate batches for battery anode material currently under tests with a large Japanese company.
Benson says this potential opening was in detailed discussions and he is confident Binding Offtake Agreements would be finalised in the next quarter for about 75% of Lindi’s anode category product.
“The new DFS confirmed the quality of the Lindi graphite and we are now looking at an increased life of mine of 24 years producing 40 000tpa of concentrate,” Benson says.
Walkabout has also intercepted ‘spectacular’ high grade mineralisation in trenches to the immediate north of the proposed first mine site, including 54m at 22.4% TGC from surface.
“While we have reduced capital costs by a further 6%, our operational costs will remain very low at around USD347 per tonne free on board into the port of Mtwara,” Benson adds.
Walkabout plans to focus on Lindi’s shallower, high grade (>20% TGC) material in the mine’s early open-pit years with the deepening of the pit taking place later in the life of mine.