ASX-listed Walkabout Resources has advised that its Lindi Jumbo graphite mine, in Tanzania, is on track for dry commissioning in the last quarter of this year.
This comes as China’s graphite export restrictions present an opportunity for Walkabout to enter new markets and benefit from positive price momentum.
CEO and MD Andrew Cunningham says the construction team at the mine has made significant progress in delivering the project on schedule, while maintaining an impeccable safety record.
“Coming online in early 2024 – soon after Chinese export restrictions come into play –Lindi Jumbo will as the largest producer of large flake graphite for the expandable graphite market outside China. The mine poised to provide the assurance of supply that currently hangs in the balance elsewhere,” he adds.
Lindi Jumbo will supply 40 000 t/y of premium natural flake graphite to international markets.
Junior Walkabout Resources earlier this year secured a $20-million debt facility with investment fund manager Gemcorp to complete construction of its Lindi Jumbo graphite mine, in Tanzania.
The company signed a term sheet with Gemcorp which includes a $20-million senior secured debt facility and a $5-million unsecured standby facility, which will ensure the Lindi Jumbo project is funded into production.
“It is pleasing to know that the Lindi Jumbo project will be funded through to production. Having Lindi Jumbo more than 85% complete to cost prior to the first drawdown, provides a significantly different base for project debt than any of the prior arrangements,” said Walkabout CEO Andrew Cunningham.
“Debt will fund just under half of the total development cost including working capital since 2021. This prudent leverage will increase the future earnings per share for shareholders relative to Lindi Jumbo being fully equity funded.”
The loan facility is subject to commercial terms typical for a transaction of this nature, and will be repaid from operating cashflow, starting in June 2024.
Source: Mining Weekly