Magnis Resources Limited (Magnis) (ASX: MNS) of Australia announced that an agreement has been reached with the Government of Tanzania (GOT) on amendments to the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) license, granted to Magnis Technologies Tanzania Ltd (MTT), a 100% owned subsidiary of Magnis.
The SEZ under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, governs the operation of the graphite processing plant and is not subject to the changes in the mining legislation promulgated last year.
The SEZ license for production of value-added graphite products is the only such license to be granted in Tanzania.
The company explains that the amendments are significant and underpins the development of the Nachu Graphite Project which includes the processing facility.
Magnis has two subsidiaries in Tanzania – MTT and Uranex Tanzania Ltd (Uranex).
MTT will own and operate 100% of the company’s processing plant at the Nachu Graphite Project under the laws applicable to the SEZ under the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA).
MTT will initially produce refined Jumbo and Super Jumbo Flake products and spheroidal graphite products for the lithium-ion battery market.
Uranex owns the mining license to deliver ore to SEZ and includes the operation of mining pits and waste stockpiles.
It will operate under the laws and regulations applicable to the country’s mining industry under the Ministry of Minerals (previously Ministry of Energy and Minerals).
The Director General and CEO of EPZA Joseph Leon Simbakalia said: “EPZA has been mandated by law to play the critical role of promoting and facilitating the establishment of Special Economic Zones to host minerals ore beneficiation industries linked to a value chain of associated downstream industries […] We look forward to working closely with Magnis by way of facilitation and assistance that will enable execution of this exciting project in optimum time; with the introduction of new technologies to process graphite as well as the development of new skills for Tanzanians.”
Magnis Chairman Frank Poullas said: “This agreement crystallizes the value of our Nachu Graphite Project and establishes MTT as an approved graphite processor in Tanzania.[…] We look forward to progressing development at Nachu and bringing considerable economic and skills benefits to Tanzania through the development of the mine and the processing operations through MTT.”
At the end of 2015, The Tanzanian Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) announced that Tanzania will soon become one of the largest producers of graphite in the world, due to recent and abundant discoveries of graphite fields across the country.
Graphite discoveries in Tanzania come mainly from Australia based graphite developers, Magnis Resources (ASX:MNS), Volt Resources (ASX:VRC) and Kibaran Resources (ASX:KNL).
Tanzania Special Economic Zone
The SEZ licenses are issued by the EPZA, which is an autonomous agency under the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.
SEZs provide a number of specific incentives for investors operating within them, which include fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, including 10 years corporate tax holidays, duty and VAT exemptions, and visas at entry point for key technical staff.