Armadale Capital of the UK announced this month that it had submitted an environmental and social impact assessment to the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) of Tanzania. Armadale is developing its Mahenge graphite project in the south of the country, 350km from Dar es Salaam (DES).
The company reported that the Council will conduct a field visit this month, one of the final steps before recommendation for the granting of the environmental permit (EISA approval) which precedes the granting of a mining licence. Other components of the Mining Licence process in Tanzania now include a Local Content Plan, a Human Resources Plan, a Resettlement Framework, and Mine Plans.
Armadale’s geology staff and its environmental consultants visited the remote project area in late August 2020 to prepare for a field visit by NEMC, which will commence on 14 September 2020. This is expected to be the final step before the granting of the Mining Licence.
Armadale Capital released a definitive feasibility study in March 2020 for the Mahenge Liandu project suggesting 60ktpy of graphite concentrate production for the first three years, based on 0.4-0.5Mtpy of throughput, with a possible Stage 2 to 80ktpy. In June 2020, it released an update to this study with a revised Stage 2, to reach 109ktpy, based on a revised mine schedule using a higher cut-off grade of 9% TGC, with a 1.95:1 stripping ratio. The company then submitted a mining license application in July 2020 and carried out purification testwork up to 99.99% TGC throughout 2020. The capital cost estimate for Stage 1 is US$39.7M and cash costs (FOB DES) are estimated to be US$369/t. Mineral resources in the update were reported to be 10.84Mt measured and indicated, and 2.58Mt inferred.
As our other graphite news this week mentions, China has rapidly increased its imports of flake graphite in recent years, with significant quantities now being sourced from Africa. Chinese imports of flake graphite increased by 971% in 2018 to 63kt, and by 212% in 2019 to 197kt.
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