Graphite hopeful Triton (ASX:TON) has pencilled in a possible financing and offtake agreement over its 60,000 tonnes a year Ancuabe project in Mozambique.

Triton says it was approached by Chinese state-owned company Jinhui, one of the country’s largest graphite companies, which led to more in-depth “commercial and technical meetings”.

The deal with Jinhui basically just provides a framework to reach a binding agreement within six months.

The news sent the explorer’s share price up about 10 per cent to 4.5c in early trade — which helped claw back some of the losses the stock has suffered over the past year.

It follows a similar non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a subsidiary of the massive China National Building Materials Group, which includes financing Ancuabe construction “and the provision of material testing and technical consulting services”.

The Triton share price has fallen about 55 per cent over the past 12 months.
The Triton share price has fallen about 55 per cent over the past 12 months.

Triton managing director Peter Canterbury says the new agreement with Jinhui was further evidence that Chinese domestic producers are now actively looking to East Africa to expand and diversify their high purity and large flake supply chains in preparation for the significant growth anticipated in the battery and flame-retardant materials markets.

“This MoU also is complementary to our financing discussions in China which are progressing well,” he says.

Triton wants to start construction this year.

The Ancuabe mining concession still needs to be signed off by the Mozambique Minister of Mines, but Triton says they have been assured “that all remains in order”.