In 2020, Tanzania’s estimated graphite reserves were at 17 million tonnes, ranking 6th in the world after Turkey (90 million tonnes), China (73 million tonnes), Brazil (70 million tonnes), Madagascar (26 million tonnes), and Mozambique (25 million tonnes).
Total global reserves of graphite were estimated to be 323.8 million tonnes, with Tanzania accounting for about 5% of them.
Graphite is the most commonly used to serve as the anode material in lithium-ion battery manufacturing due to its relatively low cost and its energy density.
The World Bank predicts that the production of graphite could increase by nearly 500% by 2050 to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies.
Tanzania Graphite Projects
Tanzania’s largest graphite deposits are located in the central and southeast regions of the country. Active graphite projects include Bunyu, Chilalo, Epanko, Nachu, and Lindi Jumbo. Production stages have not been reached yet.
Tanzania’s graphite reserves are being explored and developed by Australia-based graphite developers, namely Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT), EcoGraf (ASX:EGR), Evolution Energy Minerals (ASX: EV1, FSE: P77), Magnis Resources (ASX:MNS), Volt Resources (ASX:VRC), and Walkabout Resources (ASX:WKT).
Bunyu Graphite Project (Volt Resources)
The Bunyu Graphite Project, located in the Mtwara Region, is wholly owned by Volt Resources. It is the largest graphite mineral resource in Tanzania with 461Mt @ 4.9% TGC and a reserve of 127 Mt @ 4.4% TGC.
Volt Resources has a two-stage development strategy.
Stage One is based on a mining and processing plant’s annual throughput rate of 400,000 tonnes of ore based on 6.26% TGC feed grade to produce on average 23,700tpa of graphite products. Stage One Feasibility Study was completed in July 2018 and delivered a favorable NPV and IRR over a payback period of 4.4 years with Pre-tax NPV (10%) of US$18.6M and Pre-tax IRR of 21.0%.
Stage Two is to produce approximately 170,000 tpa based on the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) which was completed in late 2016 and is used as a proxy for Stage Two.
In June 2022, Volt Resources signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with listed battery anode material producer Graphex Group for the sale of 5,000 tonnes per annum of Bunyu Graphite fine natural flake product for a 10-year term.
Chilalo Graphite Project (Evolution Energy Minerals)
The Chilalo Graphite Project, located in southeast Tanzania, is being developed by the Australian mining company Evolution Energy Minerals (ASX: EV1, FSE: P77).
The project hosts a high-grade mineral resource of 20.1Mt at 9.9% total graphitic carbon (TGC) for 1,991 Kt of contained graphite.
In January 2022, Evolution Energy Minerals announced that it will make a construction decision by H2 2022, and in June 2022 it announced that it has awarded Front End Engineering Design (“FEED”) contract for the processing plant.
Epanko Graphite Project (EcoGraf)
The Epanko graphite project, located in the Mahenge province in southeast Tanzania, is fully owned by EcoGraf.
The project is forecasted to produce 60,000 tonnes of natural flake graphite products each year over the initial 18 years of operation.
Sales agreements for Epanko products have been entered into with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp AG, Sojitz Corporation of Japan, and a major European trading group. The final milestone is to complete the funding process so that construction can commence as soon as possible.
Lindi Jumbo Graphite Project (Walkabout Resources)
The high-grade, high-margin, large flake Lindi Jumbo Graphite project is located in south-eastern Tanzania approximately 200km from the port of Mtwara. It is 100%-owned by Walkabout Resources.
The high-grade resource outcropping at the surface boasts the highest reserve grade of any undeveloped graphite project in Africa of 5.5mt @ 17.9% Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC).
The project is expected to contribute 40,000 tonnes of premium natural flake graphite to international markets.
In June 2022, Walkabout Resources informed investors that construction activities are continuing at Lindi Jumbo, in addition to the nearing completion of the manufacture and acquisition of major processing equipment in China.
Mahenge Project (Black Rock Mining)
The Mahenge Project is spread across 324 square kilometers of exploration tenements in Tanzania’s Ulanga district, approximately 250 km north of the border with Mozambique.
The project is fully owned by Black Rock Mining. It is one of the largest JORC-compliant flake graphite resources globally, with 212m tonnes @ 7.8% TGC, and a reserve of 70m tonnes @ 8.5% TGC.
In December 2021, the company formed a Joint-Venture dubbed Faru Graphite Corporation to develop the project with the Government of Tanzania.
The company is aiming to have debt finance in place by mid of CY2022, and major construction activities are expected to commence in Q3 CY2022.
Nachu Graphite Project (Magnis Resources)
The Nachu Graphite Project, located west of the coastal city of Lindi in southeast Tanzania, is fully owned by Magnis Resources.
The project demonstrates significant potential due to its large size and is estimated to produce 240,000 tonnes per year over the initial 11.7 years of operation.
In February 2022, Magnis Resources announced that global engineering group Ausenco has been engaged to complete an updated Bankable Feasibility Study for the Nachu Graphite Project.
In addition, it executed a Binding Offtake Agreement with Traxys for the future delivery and sale of 600,000 tonnes of high-purity graphite across all flake sizes over a six-year period. The agreement will begin in 2H 2024.
Last Updated: 29th June 2022
Sources: Black Rock Mining, EcoGraf, Evolution Energy Minerals, Magnis Resources, Volt Resources, Walkabout Resources, World Bank.