Rapidly Approaching Production - Lindi Jumbo
Currently in construction, Walkabout’s 100%-owned Lindi Jumbo Graphite Mine is funded to production and will contribute 40,000 tonnes of premium natural flake graphite to international markets at a time of unprecedented demand driven predominantly by the energy storage and the electrical vehicle sectors.
The exceptional high-grade orebody (lower capex & opex costs), the highly amenable metallurgical characteristics, and its sought-after distribution of large flakes within final concentrate (higher basket price) provides significant competitive advantage in capital and operating costs and is forecasted to be the second-highest margin natural flake graphite project globally (Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, 2019).
Situated in south-eastern Tanzania, some 200km from the Port of Mtwara and 460km from Dar es Salaam Tanzania’s Capital, the mining licence is set within the highly prospective Mozambique belt, known for its world-class, coarse flake graphite deposits.
TIMELINE TO PRODUCTION
- Walkabout Resources commenced construction of the Lindi Jumbo graphite mine in September of 2021.
- Site works are progressing rapidly, with most recent activity consisting of a contract being executed to connect Lindi Jumbo to grid power, which will be implemented in time for the construction of the processing plant.
- First production is anticipated by Q3, 2022.
Other Project Highlights
DFS: The Company took the Lindi Jumbo project from discovery in October 2015 to the completion of a highly robust Definitive Feasibility Study within 16 months and was released to the market in February 2017 and the Mining Licence over the deposit was officially awarded in October 2018.
The following are highlights of the findings of the feasibility study:
- Highest Ore Reserve grade of any reported undeveloped large-flake graphite project in Africa at 17.9% Total Graphitic Carbon.
- Ore Reserve based only on 37% of the Measured and Indicated portion of the Mineral Resource
- Lowest forecasted operating costs of any undeveloped graphite project in Tanzania of US$347/t in concentrate FOB at the port of Mtwara.
- Lowest upfront Capex in Tanzania of US$27.8 million.
- Long Life of Mine (LOM) of 24 years based on Measured and Indicated Resources only.
- Post-Tax NPV (10%) of US$197 million
- Post-Tax IRR 119%
- Average Annual EBITDA of US$44.1 million
The JORC compliant Lindi Jumbo Deposit of 41.8 million tonnes @ 10.8% TGC remains open along strike and at depth and the Mining Licence is surrounded by approximately 160 square kilometres of highly prospective ground for high-grade, large flake graphite within three Prospecting Licences under the control of Walkabout Resources.
In addition to the JORC compliant Mineral Resource more than 17 line-kilometres of conductive zones have been modelled on two areas covered by VTEM surveys on the Mining Licence and surrounding Prospecting Licences in close proximity to the Lindi Jumbo Graphite Mine. An Exploration Target for the two VTEM areas only has been estimated at 50 to 100 million tonnes of graphite bearing material (grade unknown).
The table below contains the global or country wide Exploration Target within tenure held by the Company.
See more information in the ASX Announcement.
1Quality is based on the similar reported graphite deposits in the immediate vicinity of the exploration target areas. The Exploration Target is based on geological and structural mapping, rock chip sampling, geophysical survey data, 3D modelling of conceptual mineralisation shells, historical reports and publicly available reports of Mineral Resources in proximity to the Exploration Targets. Target testing will occur through further mapping and sampling, possible geophysical surveys, and if warranted drill testing. The timing of these programs are dependent on the availability of funds, commodity market conditions and current travel restrictions.
Exploration Targets over two VTEM areas on ML579/2018, PL13376/2018 and PL9993/2014
The potential quantity outside of the Gilbert Arc Mineral Resource Area is conceptual in nature as there has been insufficient exploration to define a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the determination of a Mineral Resource over any of the additional target areas.
It should not be expected that the quality of the Exploration Targets is equivalent to that of Mineral Resources. Exploration Targets could be tested with future exploration activities in alignment with company’s exploration and business strategy.
The Lindi Jumbo processing plant has been designed unlike many comparable peers. In contrast to other producers, who tend to focus on the volume of graphite fines, Lindi Jumbo’s plant is optimised for flake size retention – meaning care is taken not to ‘damage or break’ large flakes, helping Walkabout Resources to increase its product grade above 95% TGC whilst preserving and maintaining exceptional large flake size distribution.
The Flow Sheet has been tested in Australia and again in China independently. Due to the nature of the graphite ore, the process is a simple means of liberating and upgrading graphitic flakes in concentration. Regular graphite processing China can require upwards of twelve regrind stages, a significant increase when compared to Lindi Jumbo’s 4 regrind and polish stages.
To support the processing plant, Walkabout Resources is constructing a high grade Run-of-Mine (ROM) feed to assist in overall efficiency and upgrades.
The Road to Construction at Lindi Jumbo
During the second quarter of 2021, a major milestone in the Company’s progress to production was achieved when a US$20 million Debt Funding Facility (Facility) was secured with the local CRDB Bank of Tanzania. The Facility has allowed the Lindi Jumbo project to meet 62.5% of the total project funding. (See ASX Announcement of 13 April 2021).
Having fully satisfied the Companion Equity of US$12 million, its authorised disbursement has allowed the commencement of the following activities, which began in September 2021:
- Mobilisation and start of the bulk earthworks
- Civil engineering work at the processing plant and TSF areas
- The procurement and manufacture of processing plant equipment
- Procurement of mobile equipment
- Commencement of shipping of long-lead items and mobile equipment to site
The construction of the Lindi Jumbo graphite mine is swift, with first production estimated for the second half of 2022.