Walkabout Resources (ASX: WKT) will release an amended definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its flagship Lindi Jumbo asset in Tanzania in early 2019 after a 41% boost in the graphite project’s resource estimate.
Following a recent resource calculation by independent geological consultancy, Trepanier, the project’s upgraded global resource now stands at 41.8 million tonnes at 10.8% total graphitic carbon (TGC) for 4.5Mt of contained graphite.
The West Perth-based company said just over half of the resource that will form part of the initial mining studies is now classified as measured (6.5Mt at 12.1% TGC) and indicated (8.4Mt at 10.5% TGC), containing 1.67Mt of flake graphite.
The global mineral resource now includes a new inferred resource area which lies directly to the south of the current planned open-pit area and is made up of six distinct mineralised domains.
The updated resource follows on from a drilling and trenching program at the project which was conducted over the northern inferred resource area as well as a new mineralised zone directly to the south of the Gilberts Arc graphite deposit.
Walkabout Resources technical director Andrew Cunningham said the Gilbert Arc deposit at Lindi Jumbo continued to deliver value for our shareholders.
“The unique, very high-grade domains from surface are one of the factors that makes this deposit the stand out project amongst its graphite peers in East Africa,” he said.
“We look forward to the upcoming mining studies and amended DFS which will include the extended high-grade zones from surface.”
Gearing up production
Located in south-eastern Tanzania, Walkabout is aiming to secure a strategic development partner to fast-track Lindi Jumbo’s development in time for a 2019 start date.
The desire to propel the asset into production in a timely fashion corresponds to what the company says is forecast high growth in demand for natural large-flake graphite.
A 2017 DFS for the project placed a US$29.6 million start-up capital spend on the development and a post-tax net present value of US$180 million.
Under the current DFS, annual production of 40,000t of graphite concentrate is projected for the open pit mine over a 20-year mine life.
Walkabout’s shares were unchanged at $0.091 in early morning trade.