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Tirupati Graphite, the flake-graphite company with primary mining and processing projects in Madagascar has announced a private placement of up to £3,000,000 in Convertible Loan Notes to fund its development and growth strategies.

Tirupati is looking to build and expand on its existing production capabilities and become a leading producer of primary high-quality-flake graphite (up to 96% Cg) in Madagascar, as well as a producer of high-purity flake graphite (>99% Cg) from its downstream value-added processing facilities in India, to target growth markets for high-purity graphite in the bourgeoning electric vehicles (EV), energy storage, flame retardants, composites as well as graphene industries.

Shishir Poddar, Tirupati Executive Chairman and MD, says:

“We are delighted with the all-round progress we are making in advancing towards our goal of becoming a world-class, fully-integrated, high-quality-flake graphite and graphene producer.

"The offering is structured with defined returns while providing the opportunity of significant potential upside for investors as the Company delivers on its growth strategies.

"The funds raised enables us to develop both our Vatomina and Sahamamy projects in Madagascar to the initial 9,000 tpa of installed capacity, in addition to advancing our downstream processing and graphene projects in India.

“Our modular development strategy is working well and is already seeing us generate revenues with Sahamamy ramping up to full production of 3,000 tpa of high-quality flake bound for the international markets.

"As we expand our production capacity up to 9,000 tpa, we will have established a solid platform for our Madagascan projects to reach a combined production capacity of 81,000 tpa over the next three years.

“In addition to our primary production in Madagascar, the Patalganga flame retardant project in India provides us with specialised products for our initial market penetration into the high growth niche flake graphite flame retardants market.

"With the larger scale downstream projects also being advanced with this funding round, we will be well placed to create and deliver significant upside for our investors, shareholders and all stakeholders.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, we have improved the quality of lives of hundreds of people from amongst some of the most deprived. Since we started developing in the area, we have upgraded connectivity as well as improved on school infrastructure, water health and hygiene and provided vocational training which has helped to improve the quality of life for the community.

"Shortly, we will be launching our formal community engagement programme, Shakuntalam, which symbolises motherhood, as we embark on the journey of significantly expanding our production capacity in Madagascar. It is as satisfying for our team to help improve the quality of life of the people around us, as it is to successfully build and deliver our projects.”

Located 8 km from the Company’s Vatomina site, Sahamamy is a c.8 km2 mining permit area issued to for 40 years. It has a current JORC resource of c. 13 million tons and further resource potential exceeding 15 million tons.

Since acquiring the project in 2018, the existing operations at Sahamamy were rejuvenated, upgraded and modernised by the Company to install the initial 3,000 tpa module which was successfully commissioned in March 2019 and is ramping up to full capacity.

Sahamamy shipped its first flake-graphite consignments in May 2019 and has achieved first sales revenues. The project is targeting to have a flake-graphite production capacity of 21,000 tpa over the next year with opportunity to expand this capacity even further, at the Company’s election.

The next 18,000 tpa module at Sahamamy is planned to start construction in Q3 2020.

Construction of the first 6,000 tpa production module at the Vatomina project in Madagascar is already well underway, with commissioning scheduled to commence in Q4 2019 and full production attained within 3 months of commissioning.

Subsequently, the Company will add a further three successive 18,000 tpa modules, with the first of these scheduled to commence construction during Q1 2020.

Upon completion of the third 18,000 tpa module, the production capacity at Vatomina will reach a total of 60,000 tpa. Vatomina covers a 25 km2 mining permit issued for 40 years and is located 70 km from the main deep-sea port of Toamasina which is connected by the National Highway 2, thus providing excellent route to markets.

Equipment manufacturing and fabrication for the first 6,000 tpa module is advanced, with construction of ancillary buildings and facilities including the engineering centre on-site already completed. Foundations of the main plant buildings are substantially completed paving the way for fast track installation and commissioning.

Tirupati Speciality Graphite was established to develop downstream value-added high purity flake graphite manufacturing for high-tech graphite applications in various key growth markets including EVs, energy storage, flame retardants, lubricants and composites.

The Company views this as a pivotal development that enables it to gain exposure to the entire graphite value chain. The project is being developed with the capability to process flake graphite from any source including the Company’s Madagascar operations.

Tirupati is looking to develop a 20,000 tpa production facility of value-added high purity flake graphite products including expandable, spherical and micronized graphite.

A 1,200 tpa flame retardants application focussed plant in India has already been commissioned and product qualification initiated with strategic buyers. Commercial production from the initial 1,200 tpa facility is expected to commence shortly.

Tirupati Graphene and Mintech Research Centre will be a fully integrated technology and research centre composed of two centres of excellence.