Black Rock ready to develop world’s fourth-largest graphite deposit

Black Rock Mining managing director John de Vries. Photo by Black Rock Mining.

Black Rock Mining (ASX: BKT) managing director, John de Vries, announced this week that his company is “construction ready” to build the first $116-million stage of a new Tanzanian graphite mine.

According to de Vries, once financing negotiations are finalised, Black Rock will be able to go ahead with the proposed high purity Mahenge graphite mine, regarded as the world’s fourth-largest graphite resource.

Black Rock’s Definitive Feasibility Study for the project considers a three-stage construction schedule to deliver up to 350,000 tonnes per annum of 98.5% graphite concentrate

The executive said he is looking at a blended finance model.

“Our approach is to match the financing risks for Mahenge with those best placed to manage it. Those current options include bonds, offshore debt, vendor bids, Tanzanian debt, offtake customer participation or a part sell down,” he said at the Paydirt 2019 Africa Downunder mining conference in Perth. “This position is enhanced by the fact the construction protocols are already underwritten by pricing framework agreements.”

Black Rock’s 100%-owned Mahenge deposit, located in Tanzania’s Ulanga district some 250 kilometres north of the border with Mozambique, has a JORC compliant resource estimate of 212 million tonnes at 7.8% TGC, enabling up to 350,000 tonnes of high spec graphite concentrate a year for a 26-year mine life.

The plan to reach commercial production includes the largest pilot plant of any graphite mine globally.

“Mahenge would come to market at a time of growing demand for energy storage and expanded graphite consumption – a demand curve likely to double graphite consumption volumes over the next decade,” de Vries said.

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