Exclusive interview with Andrew Cunningham, Director of Walkabout Resources in Tanzania, a bronze sponsor at the upcoming East & Central Africa Mining Forum. Mr Cunningham will also address the conference on “Developing the high-grade Lindi Jumbo Project in Tanzania” and take part in a panel discussion on Tanzania’s mining potential.
Let’s start with some background on Walkabout Resources – there is a proud history there?
Walkabout Resources has a long history of exploration and resource development in Africa, and the phrase “African focus, Aussie know how” explains the company perfectly.
What does your role entail?
As Technical Director and geologist by profession I manage all “technical” aspects of the company’s projects, from project generation and exploration with the ultimate aim of developing a sustainable and profitable mine to the advantage of the company’s shareholders and the country and local communities in which we operate. As a very small company, all the directors and executive management work very closely together and we are directly involved in each other’s disciplines to add meaningful value where we can.
Any specific projects in the mining sector that Walkabout Resources is involved in currently that you are particularly excited about at the moment?
The Lindi Jumbo Graphite project in Tanzania is the find of a lifetime, and at a very exciting stage of the project’s lifespan.
Tell us more about your business interests in the East & Central African regions. And in Africa at large?
We have a mining licence for graphite in Tanzania and have started with the early works on site as well as the procurement and construction of the processing equipment. We also have exploration licences in Tanzania and other parts of the continent as well as in the UK and are always on the lookout for exciting opportunities where we think our skill sets can be of an advantage.
How important is sustainability, responsible mining and eco-friendly practices on the ground for the company?
It is of outmost importance to us. Without the buy-in from the local communities, government institutions and all the stakeholders from within the country in which you operate, we would never have progressed with the Lindi Jumbo Project in the rapid manner in which we have. By having the correct team in place, sourced largely from the local community has been a huge benefit. Local talent is available and competent.
How excited are you about the mining opportunities in Rwanda and the region?
We have been operating in Tanzania for a number of years, and have remained very positive and excited about the opportunities in this region.
What advice would you give a prospective investor in this sector in the region?
Know Africa and know your business.
What is your vision for mining in East Africa?
Making it the “go-to” area within Africa for responsible mineral exploration and mining.
Why the decision to partner with the East & Central Africa Mining Forum in October?
We are excited at getting our message out to the regional community as well as internationally.
You are a speaker at the event, with a presentation entitled “Developing the high-grade Lindi Jumbo Project in Tanzania” – can you give us a preview of what your message will be at the event?
The Lindi Jumbo project is a very unique, once in a lifetime project but for a very special commodity, graphite, that is poorly understood and for which there is a definitive market. I hope that people will understand the graphite sector better, and realise that there are opportunities waiting, and not always for the usual minerals that are explored for.
What are you most looking forward to in Kigali in October?
Lunchtime and drinks. 🙂
MORE ABOUT ANDREW CUNNINGHAM:
Andrew has a BSc Hons in Geology from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa is a member of the Australian Institute of Geosciences and a life member of the Geological Society of Namibia.
Mr Cunningham has extensive cross discipline technical and management experience in the minerals industry, predominantly in Africa and Australia and has worked in a range of commodities and geological styles, including uranium, iron ore, graphite, diamonds, gold and base metals. During the last 20 years, he has managed all facets of exploration and development projects in Africa from project generation to the completion of feasibility studies and into construction. He has held senior geology and exploration positions with major international mining companies as well as various ASX and TSX listed companies.