WALKABOUT Resources, an Australian based firm, has signed an agreement with CRDB Bank for a loan amounting 20million US dollars (46bn/-) for the construction of a graphite mine in Lindi region.
The Australian firm that operates in the country under the Lindi Jumbo Graphite Mine, said in a press statement yesterday that they are finalising the loan documentation before mining activities officially take off.
Managing Director of Walkabout Resources Allan Mulligan said the CRDB loan, which covers 62.5 per cent of mine costs, takes the project to a new stage of progress toward its implementation.
“CRDB Bank’s loan further affirms Walkabout’s Lindi Jumbo project a truly local Tanzanian company with a substantially de-risked world-class graphite project,” Mr Mulligan said.
He further expressed that he is pleased to have CRDB Bank, one of the leading lenders, as the Lindi Jumbo project financing partner.
The loan negotiation took over a year to finalise. “The relationship between CRDB and Lindi Jumbo benefits Tanzania as well as our company, as the cost of funding is significantly reduced in terms of sovereign risk premiums,” Mr Mulligan said.
The statement added that the provision of the significant loan package for prospective graphite mining in Lindi unlocks the final milestone in project development and construction efforts, as mining activities can commence as soon as formal documents have been executed.
With an estimated 24 years mining life, Lindi Jumbo has an approximate capital cost of 32 million US dollars, with the CRDB loan meeting 62.5 percent of the project cost.
Lindi Jumbo has already expended 3.6million US dollars on construction activities at the site and on long-lead manufacturing items.
The announcement also highlighted that all documents between Lindi Jumbo and the Government have been finalised, and all permits approved.
According to Walkabout’s Senior Geologist, Rikard Taljaard, the mine covers an area totalling seven square kilometres in Matambarale village, Ruangwa District in Lindi where preliminary earthworks are ongoing in line with compensating current land owners