Africa-focused Walkabout Resources (ASX: WKT) has gained further ground in Tanzania, paying US$1 million for the remaining 30% stake in a prospecting licence hosting the Lindi Jumbo graphite deposit.
The energy minerals developer now wholly owns the tenement containing the Lindi Jumbo graphite mine, which is subject to a pending mining licence application.
The US$1 million contracted purchase price was detailed in a vendor agreement inked in May 2015.
Walkabout executive chairman Trevor Benson said the purchase of the remaining interest in the project was a “huge value-adding transaction” for the company.
“The passing of this significant project milestone is indicative of the confidence that management has in the project and in the subsequent progression of events in Tanzania,” he said.
Walkabout said talks with Tanzania’s Ministry of Minerals in the nation’s capital of Dodoma last week were “highly encouraging” with respect to the progress of the Lindi Jumbo mining licence application.
“The Ministry confirmed that licence applications were due for issue in large batches until the backlog has been depleted,” the company reported to the market.
Lindi Jumpo graphite project
The Lindi Jumbo graphite project lies within the highly prospective Mozambique belt in south-eastern Tanzania, about 200km from the export port of Mtwara.
Walkabout is fast-tracking the development of its flagship project to take advantage of forecast demand for flake graphite deposits with high ratios of large and jumbo flakes.
A definitive feasibility study completed last year on the project has projected a US$29.7 million capital start-up cost to produce 40,000 tonnes per annum of graphite concentrate.
Walkabout’s exploration portfolio also includes the Eureka lithium project in southern Namibia, where at the start of the year it expanded its footprint to 2000sq km covering the Orange River Pegmatite Belt.
In addition, the company is earning a 75% stake in the Slieve Gallion cobalt-copper-silver-gold joint venture project in northern Ireland and has a thermal coal project in Botswana.
Shares in Walkabout were sitting more than 3% higher at A$0.165 by midday trade.