Graphite focused Triton Minerals (ASX: TON) is a step closer to locking-in the finance required to develop its Ancuabe graphite project in Mozambique after bagging a memorandum of understanding with China’s largest building materials group.
China National Building Material Group’s subsidiary Suzhou Sinoma Design and Research Institute of Non-metallic Minerals Industry will work alongside Triton and MCC International Incorporation to optimise Ancuabe’s flowsheet and secure financing to develop the asset.
Additionally, Suzhou Sinoma will provide technical consulting services to Triton regarding plant equipment, construction and commissioning of the project, as well as assisting with graphite product quality control.
“This partnership is expected to greatly benefit Triton in the construction and commissioning of Ancuabe,” Triton managing director Peter Canterbury explained.
“Triton looks forward to finalising terms of debt with Suzhou, MCC and its banking group in the near-term,” he added.
Suzhou Sinoma runs one of China’s prominent graphite testing laboratories and offers consulting services to the country’s graphite producers.
“Suzhou Sinoma has over 60 years’ experience in graphite processing and is one of the leading authorities on graphite globally,” Mr Canterbury said.
“The agreement of the memorandum of understanding provides further validation of its status as a world-class graphite project,” he added.
Ancuabe graphite project
Triton’s board gave the nod for construction to begin at Ancuabe before the end of the year.
However, the company is dependent on securing finance to get the project off the ground, with the definitive feasibility study estimating a capital expenditure of US$99 million was required.
The study revealed about 60,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate could be produced each year for almost 30 years.
Ancuabe is 90km from Mozambique’s deep-water port and Triton has locked-in binding offtake agreements for most of its forecast production.
The project has a contained graphite resource of 3.04Mt and is projected to generate a post-tax cash flow of US$753 million.
In early morning trade, shares in Triton had lifted 2.33% to reach $0.044 on the news.