Triton Minerals is on the fast track to graphite production in Mozambique
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Special report: Triton Minerals is positioning itself to become the next graphite producer after securing a provisional environmental licence that allows the company to fast track its Ancuabe graphite mine.
The Mozambique government granted the provisional environmental licence within six months of Triton (ASX:TON) submitting its application.
Construction is slated to begin in the second half of this year, with first graphite production targeted for the second half of 2019.
The grant of the provisional environmental licence is the precursor for the receipt of the final environmental licence that will complete the environmental approvals process.
It is also a key step in de-risking the Ancuabe project, particularly as it provides greater certainty to potential financiers and opens the door for debt funding deals.
“This is a major milestone in the development of the Ancuabe graphite project, which paves the way for final construction approvals,” managing director Peter Canterbury said.
“The grant of the provisional environmental licence comes at a timely stage as we progress early works and move toward construction of the raw water dam. Through the application process, Triton has developed strong relationships with local communities, and we will continue to work closely with local stakeholders as Ancuabe progresses through to production.”
The review period for the final environmental approval has passed without any objections and Triton doesn’t expect there to be any issues with securing the final environmental licence
Triton can now finalise the application for the construction permit necessary for the mine infrastructure at Ancuabe.
Once the construction permit is granted, Triton will have in place all the critical permits required to complete full construction of the project.
A mining concession for Ancuabe is expected to be issued in the near-term, but it is not a necessity for Triton to begin construction.
A mining licence is not needed until mining starts – which is slated for the second half of 2019.
No shortage of buyer interest
Triton has already locked in supply deals for half of the annual graphite concentrate that is expected to be produced from its Ancuabe mine.
The company has signed binding off-take sales deals with major Chinese graphite producers Qingdao Chenyang Graphite and Qingdao Tianshengda Graphite.
Triton is also looking to supply the rapidly growing expandable graphite market – something it is definitely capable of doing because of the high flake graphite that comes from its Mozambique deposits.
When treated with acid and heat, graphite flakes split apart and increase in volume by more than 300 times. This “expandable graphite” can be pressed into sheets and used for heat and fire protection in applications ranging from building materials to consumer electronics and fuel cells.
Triton recently had productive talks with parties in Dubai interested in a potential joint venture over its Nicanda Hill graphite and vanadium project.
“We continue to talk to a number of parties about the joint venture/farm-out of part of Nicanda Hill into a nearer term development, which would also assist in the funding options on Ancuabe,” Mr Canterbury said.
One of the reasons for Dubai’s interest in graphite is the recent fire that broke out in a 15-storey residential building.
Fire safety is rapidly becoming a global issue in commercial and residential construction following devastating fires in China, London, Australia and now Dubai.
The estimate is that there are as many as 30,000 buildings in Dubai that have non-fire retardant cladding.
This special report is brought to you by Triton Minerals.
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