ASX-listed Triton Minerals has recommitted itself to the full-scale development of its Ancuabe graphite project, in Mozambique, as envisioned in a 2017 definitive feasibility study (DFS).
The company told shareholders on Thursday that the decision to move straight to a large-scale development was based on the strong and increasing demand for graphite from both the battery and industrial applications sector, and the potentially exceptional returns that could be generated.
The original DFS considered a one-million-tonne-a-year processing rate delivering about 60 000 t/y of graphite concentrate over a mine life of 27 years. The 2017 study estimated that the project would require a capital investment of $99.4-million, and based on a graphite price of $1 435/t, could generate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $1.17-billion.
Triton earlier this year completed a strategic review and desktop study on the Ancuabe project, considering various alternatives to bring the project into production in the short term, including a Stage 1 development of a commercial pilot plant producing 5 000 t/y to 8 000 t/y of graphite concentrate, which would later be expanded to the Stage 2 project targeting the 60 000 t/y production.
Triton told shareholders on Thursday that the company was now completing a revised project plan, starting with an update of the 2017 DFS, which would focus on updating the basket pricing, up-front capital expenditure, operating costs and sustaining capital expenditure.
Potential investor Shandong Yulong, as proposed cornerstone investor into Triton Minerals, is willing to provide the company with expertise in a number of disciplines, including engineering, mining technology and construction, marketing and finance.
Triton in September this year announced a A$5-million investment from the Chinese-listed commodities trader, under which it would subscribe for more than 178.5-million shares in Triton, at a price of 2.8c each, each with a free-attaching option and an expiry date of the end of December 2025, and an exercise price of 4c each.