Chinese sign for Battery offtake

DAVID Flanagan’s African graphite venture, Battery Minerals, has finalised a binding agreement with Chinese integrated graphite company Qingdao Guangxing Electronic Materials, meaning up to 40% of the stage one production from the Montepuez project in Mozambique now has a buyer.
Chinese sign for Battery offtake Chinese sign for Battery offtake Chinese sign for Battery offtake Chinese sign for Battery offtake Chinese sign for Battery offtake

Haydn Black

The agreement, first flagged in October, will see 10,000 tonnes per annum of graphite concentrate at a minimum 95% TGC sold to the privately-owned Chinese concern for an initial three years. 

The Shandong-based GEM has extensive expertise in mining, production, downstream processing and marketing of graphite and is enhancing its existing ‘spheronisation' and expandable graphite capability. 

In 2017 it produced around 36,000t of graphite concentrate.

The agreement follows a binding agreement secured in December with US-based Urbix Resources for an initial 5000tpa, again for three years. Urbix also a 12-month option from the start of mining to secure an additional 6000tpa of graphite concentrate in the same terms for a total of 11,000tpa.

"The agreement shows Battery Minerals is rapidly emerging as a significant global graphite producer which will enjoy low capital and operating costs and strong cashflows," Flanagan said.

"We have tailored the Montepuez project so that it is extremely bankable, it generates a product which meets the needs of battery manufacturers, delivers extensive benefits to the local community and creates strong returns for shareholders.

"With two binding offtake agreements now signed, we are more confident than ever that we will achieve all these objectives."

Battery still has a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Tokyo-listed trader Meiwa Corporation that is yet to close for a further undisclosed share of production.

Montepuez is expected to begin commissioning in late 2018, with first production from the A$42 million development ramping up to 45,000-50,000tpa in early 2019.

Stage two envisages an expansion to over 100,000tpa by 2022.

Battery raised $20 million in November. It was last traded at 6.8c, valuing the company at $26 million.