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Lindi Jumbo offers opportunity for mining in Tanzania

7th September 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Graphite developer Walkabout Resources is hoping that the development of its Lindi Jumbo graphite mine, in Tanzania, would open the floodgates for foreign investment in the African nation.

Speaking at Paydirt’s Africa Downunder conference, in Perth, Walkabout CEO Andrew Cunningham said on Thursday that the $20-million to $25-million debt funding secured for the development of Lindi Jumbo marked the first foreign debt into the Tanzanian mining industry in the past 20 years, while the project itself was the first major mine to be developed over the last 10 to 15 years.

“Lindi Jumbo really is a game changer for Tanzania, and our hope is that it will help our peers, and help get more foreign debt into Tanzania, and we are hoping that it will open the floodgates,” Cunningham said.

Walkabout on Thursday provided an update on the construction of the Lindi Jumbo project, noting that civil works were more than 97% complete while construction of the tailings storage facility was 90% complete.

The current construction schedule has the connection to the power supply on the Lindi Jumbo critical path. Although grid power has been delivered to site and is awaiting to be energised, the delivery to site of the contracted 33 kV transformer is not expected until November.

To mitigate potential commissioning delays and to reduce future operating risk, Lindi Jumbo had reverted to acquiring diesel generators for full backup power. These generators were expected to arrive on site next month and would be critical for the timely commissioning and startup of the processing plant while the transformer was being installed. The cost of this risk mitigation and redundancy would add nearly $1-million to the project cost and was factored into the sizing of the senior debt facility, the company told shareholders.

Meanwhile, the company told shareholders that the impact of prolongation from the delays in project funding and Covid-19 had been mitigated to approximately 4.2% of the forecasted final capital expenditure value.

Walkabout said on Thursday that with the contracting of the power and camp scope changes and the Lindi Jumbo plant construction nearing completion, the final estimated capital cost for the mine is $34.5-million, up from the $27.8-million estimated in the original definitive feasibility study.

The bulk of this cost was incurred in 2021.

The Lindi Jumbo project would produce 40 000 t/y of graphite over a mine life of 24 years, and Cunningham said the company was hoping to go into commissioning by the end of this year.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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