Triton Minerals (ASX: TON) is about to kick-off development of its flagship wholly-owned Ancuabe graphite project in Mozambique after its board gave the nod for construction to begin in the latter half of this year.
Early works have already begun including earthworks for the raw water dam needed to begin construction and underpin operations.
Triton completed a definitive feasibility study in December last year, which was followed by development and commercialisation activity this year. Both have shored the board’s confidence in Ancuabe’s economic potential.
However, the company is still seeking finance to fund construction of the project, with Triton managing director Peter Canterbury claiming he was “confident” this would happen to allow development to begin as planned.
“It is a pleasure to announce that Triton has approved the development of Ancuabe, a new, high-value graphite project for the global expandable graphite and lithium-ion battery markets,” Mr Canterbury said.
“The substantial work undertaken by Triton during 2018 has confirmed the board’s confidence in Ancuabe and enabled the board to make this development decision only 18-months from the discovery of the T16 deposit,” Mr Canterbury added.
Ancuabe graphite project
Under the definitive feasibility study, Ancuabe has projected annual production of 60,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate over 27 years.
The project is 90km from Mozambique’s deep-water port and has a contained graphite resource of 3.04 million tonnes, which, alone, underpins the 27 operation.
Once operational, the definitive feasibility study estimated Triton could generate a post-tax cash flow of US$753 million based on a US$1,435 per tonne graphite price.
Additionally, Triton has locked-in two binding offtake agreements which cover 50% of the forecast production from Ancuabe.
“As outlined in the definitive feasibility study, Ancuabe is forecast to deliver strong economic returns for Triton, and we are excited to continue to derisk and deliver value for shareholders as we progress to first production,” Mr Canterbury said.
“We are seeing continued strong demand and pricing for high-purity, large flake graphite products that will be produced at Ancuabe,” he added.
Triton is aiming to have first production from Ancuabe by late 2019.