Walkabout Resources investors were all smiles today after a leading Chinese engineering firm became the company’s biggest shareholder through a $1.2 million placement.

Tanzania-focused Walkabout (ASX:WKT) jumped 12 per cent in morning trade to 8.6c after reporting privately owned Jinpeng Mining and Machinery would take a 10.6 per cent stake,  through the issue of 17.3 million shares at 7.1c.

The securing of a corner stone investor was an endorsement of the company’s Lindi Jumbo Graphite Project in south eastern Tanzania, Walkabout Executive Chairman Trevor Benson said.

The investment would allow the project to be fast-tracked while longer term funding was negotiated.

Jinpeng has not ruled out further investment to support the Company in developing the Lindi Jumbo Graphite Project in south eastern Tanzania.

The funds will be used to progress engineering and procurement works while Walkabout secures further project funding.

Walkabout holds 70 per cent of four licences at Lindi Jumbo with an option to acquire the remaining 30 per cent share.

Earlier this week, Walkabout announced it had submitted a Mining Licence Application to the Ministry of Energy and Minerals of Tanzania despite a halt on the award of any Mining Licences and Special Mining Licences is in force throughout the country.

However, Walkabout remains confident of the award of a Mining Licence and that is incompliance with the country’s mining act.