Grafite-focused company EcoGraf (ASX: EGR; FSE: FMK; OTCQX: ECGFF) has been mandated by KfW IPEX-Bank to arrange a senior debt facility of up to USD 105 million for the development of the Epanko Graphite Project in Tanzania.
This financing is backed by the Untied Loan Guarantee (UFK) scheme of the Federal Republic of Germany, a program designed to support projects that provide a long-term supply of critical minerals for German industry.
The German Government has confirmed the eligibility of the Epanko project for the UFK scheme, which is contingent on the support of German off-takers for the initial phase of the project, expected to produce 73,000 tons per annum (tpa) of graphite.
The loan from KfW IPEX-Bank, subject to satisfactory due diligence and credit approvals, offers terms that are more favorable than typical commercial lending, reflecting the strategic importance of the project.
EcoGraf’s commitment to high environmental and social standards, in compliance with the Equator Principles, has been a key factor in securing this financing.
The company explains that the timing of this agreement is highly favorable for Epanko, with China recently announcing the imposition of graphite export controls to come into effect from 1 December and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier making an official visit to Tanzania earlier this month.
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.