Triton admits it could go bust after Mozambique graphite plan fails to impress

Triton Minerals, the Australian graphite mining company that boasts the world’s biggest graphite resource at Balama, Cabo Delgado, last week called in administrators after directors admitted the company may be going bust.

The decision to call in administrators on 2 March came just a day after the company released an update on its operations, saying it was switching its focus from Balama to its project at Ancuabe, which it had intended to develop jointly with German company Graphit Kropfmühl.

The strategic update on 1 March left investors underwhelmed, as the share price fell back to around A$0.06 where it had been a week earlier. It appears to have also failed to impress potential lenders, with whom Triton managing director Garth Higgo spoke on the morning of Wednesday, 2 March.

In a board meeting that day, the company’s directors decided that the funding proposals it had received were not sufficient to give them confidence that the company could remain solvent in the near to medium term.

Ferrier Hodgson, the company brought in to manage the administration, told shareholders on 4 March that their job is to get a better result for creditors than if the company had “been placed straight into liquidation.” The administrators will hold their first meeting with creditors on 15 March, they said in a letter.

Triton’s woes are in spite of an agreement in principle to sell 100,000 tonnes of graphite per year for 20 years to Chinese company YXCG. The deal, signed in April 2015, would 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.

The biggest graphite mining company in Mozambique, Syrah Resources, last week signed a new offtake agreement with Japanese trading house Marubeni which will sell 20,000 tonnes of Syrah’s graphite per year to customers in Japan and South Korea.

source: zita news

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