Strategic move by Triton Minerals, a graphite mining company switches focus to project near Pemba port

Triton Minerals, a graphite mining company with prospecting licences in the north-eastern Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado, announced today it is switching the focus of its operations from Balama to its project in Ancuabe.

Triton, based in Perth, Western Australia, boasts of “the world’s largest high grade graphite flake deposit” at its Balama North site some 200km inland from the port city of Pemba. However the company is now switching attention to its Ancuabe concession, where the graphite is of a higher quality and is only 90km from Pemba, from where the company plans to export its product.

Triton said today it aims to “progress the Ancuabe Project toward early stage mining” in 2016. The company last year agreed a partnership with German graphite miner Graphit Kropfmühl (GK), which mined in Ancuabe from 1994-1999 before mothballing its facilities. GK has a graphite production plant, mining and production infrastructure in a licence that is surrounded by Triton’s exploration areas.

Triton says it will now try and negotiate a joint venture with GK, to co-operate on processing, offtake, and marketing of the product as well as on mining. The company will also try to re-negotiate a deal it has with a Chinese company which intends to buy much of Triton’s graphite.

Triton has two separate arrangements with Yichang Xincheng Graphite Co Ltd (YXGC). The first is a 100,000 tonne per annum concentrate offtake agreement, and the second is for the establishment of graphite processing facilities in China and Mozambique.

Instead of moving ahead with the processing facilities, Triton will now ask YXGC to provide technical and commissioning support for Ancuabe as well as potential Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) support for a future concentrate processing plant in Mozambique, the company said.

The offtake agreement with YXCG, to sell 100,000 tonnes of graphite per year for 20 years, was signed in April 2015 and will be worth at least US$100 million per year, meaning a total value of at least US$2 billion over the life of the contract.

Triton’s main competitor in bringing Mozambique graphite to market, Syrah Resources, intends to start producing at its Balama mine later in 2016. It intends to export through Nacala port, which, although 470km away, it considers to be a superior facility.

Syrah has a deal to sell 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes per year to UK-based metals trading company, Asmet, for an initial period of five years. Syrah also has agreements to sell its graphite to US and Chinese customers.

source: Zita Mar News

Syrah Resources
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