Grafite-focused company EcoGraf (ASX: EGR; FSE: FMK; OTCQX: ECGFF) announced it has signed the Framework Agreement with the Government of Tanzania (Government) for the development and operation of the Epanko Graphite Project
The signing of the Framework Agreement took place in the presence of Tanzanian President, Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan at the new State House in Dodoma on 17 April 2023.
Summary of the Key Terms of the Framework Agreement:
- A new joint venture entity Duma TanzGraphite has been incorporated to develop and operate Epanko, with an 84% interest held by EcoGraf and a 16% free-carried interest held by the Government.
- Shareholder loans will not be subject to the issuance of Government loan notes provided interest rates are on reasonable terms or the shareholder loans are interest-free.
- The existing Epanko licenses, project approvals, environmental approvals, resettlement action plans, and financial balances are to be transferred from the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary TanzGraphite (TZ) Limited to Duma TanzGraphite. Those transfers will not be subject to any tax.
- A new Epanko life-of-mine Special Mining Licence will be issued to Duma TanzGraphite, a key requirement for project financiers.
- The government and EcoGraf will cooperate to secure financing for the development of Epanko.
- The government will facilitate consent and approvals for the development and operation of Epanko.
- The initial Board of Duma TanzGraphite consists of three EcoGraf appointees and two Government appointees.
- EcoGraf to appoint the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Duma TanzGraphite.
- Duma TanzGraphite is not required to be listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE).
About EcoGraf & Epanko
EcoGraf is building a vertically integrated battery anode materials business to produce high-purity graphite products for the lithium-ion battery and advanced manufacturing markets.
Anode (or negative electrode) used in Lithium-ion batteries is typically made up of graphite, coated on copper foil.
In Tanzania, EcoGraf is developing high-quality natural flake graphite Epanko and Merelani-Arusha projects.
Using its FIFfree’Y purification technology, the company will upgrade the flake graphite to produce 99.95%C high-performance battery anode material to supply electric vehicles, battery and anode manufacturers in Asia, Europe and North America.
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).
According to EcoGraf, the demand for natural graphite, led by the global lithium-ion battery market, is forecast to increase at 31.5% per annum in the current decade.