Kibaran Resources ups Tanzanian graphite production targets

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Kibaran Resources (ASX: KNL) has completed an updated production growth strategy for the company’s main flagship projects in Tanzania in East Africa.

The upshot from the update is an increase in potential graphite concentrate tonnages per annum from Kibaran’s Epanko and Merelani-Arusha graphite projects, demonstrating they have potential to produce a combined 150,000 tonnes per annum of concentrate by the 6th year of mining and processing operations.

This represents a 50 per cent increase over initial estimates the company released earlier this year of a headline rate of 100,000 tonnes per annum.

The company’s was impelled to update its growth strategy modelling after reading the, “Roskill Natural & Synthetic Graphite: Market Outlook to 2020”, report, which highlighted anticipated future increases in global demand for premium quality large flake graphite.

Kibaran said it has set its initial production targets in two stages over the first six to seven years, while planning for production increases at both Epanko and Merelani-Arusha.

“While we appreciate the technical perspectives of the longer-term production targets, we will for now seek to meet current demand by planning to commence at a prudent rate of 40,000 tonnes per annum and then build output quickly in response to future increases in demand,” Kibaran Resources managing director Andrew Spinks explained in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Kibaran recently annouonced the signing of a total of 30,000 tonnes per annum offtake agreements for 10 years with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp (20,000tpa) and a further 10,000tpa binding offtake agreement with another European graphite market trader.

Kibaran claims to be the only listed graphite entity globally with a binding offtake agreement with a partner outside of China.

The company declared its intentions to develop Tanzania as a graphite hub to counter the Chinese domination of the global graphite market.

These aspirations received a further boost earlier this month when a German Government-backed and guaranteed bank affirmed support for the Epanko project by stepping up to provide lenders of project finance, insurance against commercial and political risk.

Kibaran has a third graphite project in its Tanzania pipeline, known as Tanga, which the company has plans to include in its push for global graphite dominance outside of China for the refectory, spherical battery market and high end graphite markets.