ASX-listed Walkabout Resources has become the first ASX-listed entity to secure a graphite mining licence in Tanzania following the granting of Mining Licence ML00638/2017 for the Lindi Jumbo graphite project in south eastern Tanzania.
Upon payment of the fee and acceptance of the technical detail, Walkabout Resources will now be authorised to finalise the on-site Relocation Assistance Program (RAP), which is in advanced valuation draft from the Chief Government Valuer.
In addition, final construction plans at the Lindi Jumbo mine site can now be agreed and the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement (EPC) with construction partner, Yantai Jinpeng Mining and Machinery Co. can be finalised and set in motion the manufacture and supply orders for final plant equipment.
The grant of the mining license also allows the company to further progress advanced project funding options which have been pending the awarding of the mining license.
Commenting on the sidelines of the Africa Down Under conference in Perth, Walkabout Resources director Allan Mulligan said the mining license approval is the final major legislative requirement for the project.
“The approval is a sign that Tanzania’s mining sector is open for business with the introduction and implementation successfully of the much more transparent mining legislature over the past 12 months,” Mulligan said.
“Securing the mining licence means Walkabout Resources can now fast-track Lindi Jumbo and we anticipate first shipments of large flake graphite concentrate within nine to 12 months.
“We are acutely aware of the particular efforts of many responsible government officials and Walkabout representatives in reaching this milestone and I personally thank all the parties for their input and interest. The Mining Commission, in particular, has been particularly efficient in this process,” said Mulligan.
“We have also been assured by the Ministry of Minerals of Tanzania of their support and willingness to assist the emerging mining industry in Tanzania in meeting those regulatory obligations required to facilitate mine development and grow the industry,” he adds.
The granting of the mining license is currently in the names of previous joint holders, Ally Mbarak Mohammed (30%) and Lindi Jumbo Limited (70%) but following the legally settled option to purchase by the company of the minority share from the vendor, the transfer to 100%-ownership in the name of Walkabout subsidiary, Lindi Jumbo Limited, remains a formality.
The granting of the mining license now also means that the project funding options could now be finalised.