Australian graphite developer Kibaran Resources (ASX:KNL) announced that it has started studies on expanding the production capacity of its Epanko Graphite Project in Tanzania, by 50%.
The studies will focus on increasing Epanko’s capacity from 40,000 tons per annum (tpa) of graphite concentrate to 60,000tpa.
Kibaran decided to start the expansion studies after securing binding agreements covering all of the project’s 40,000tpa forecasted production.
Kibaran already has binding agreements for 20,000tpa with German company ThyssenKrupp, 10,000tpa with European graphite trader and 14,000tpa with Japanese trading giant Sojitz.
“These agreements reflect the high quality of Epanko’s graphite and will underpin final project funding discussions,” Kibaran’s press release indicates.
In order to facilitate the planned production expansion, Kibaran issued 47m shares at USD0.23 to raise USD10.9m.
Kibaran Managing Director Andrew Spinks said the capital raising would enable the company to accelerate pre-development activity at Epanko.
He added: “The raising will also allow us to press ahead rapidly with studies on expanding the plant to capitalize on growing demand from the lithium battery market and the feasibility study on producing battery-grade graphite. This means we will be in a position to increase production and add further value to our product much sooner than would otherwise be the case.”
Tanzania’s largest graphite deposits are located in the central and east southern regions of 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).