Triton to lay Ancuabe groundwork

WHILE one week is a long time in politics, six months can be an eternity in the mining sector, but while the bottom has fallen out of the graphite sector since Jinan Hi Tech first agreed to back Triton Minerals, the Chinese firm has stuck by the Ancuabe project, and a A$8.5 million placement has finally concluded after months of delays.
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Haydn Black


The funding required Australian and Chinese regulatory approvals, which were expected in July, weeks after the deal was announced in June.
JHT is spending $19.5 million and now has 34% of the Mozambique-focused Triton via the issue of new shares at 4.1c and the acquisition of Shandong Tianye's 19.3% stake in the ASX-listed, graphite company for $11 million at 6.2c.
The deal includes provision of financial support to finalise Ancuabe's debt requirements.
The company can now begin detailed engineering and placement of orders for long lead items with its contractors and suppliers. 
Triton, which was placed into administration in 2016 but re-emerged the same year, had cash at bank of $120,063 at the end of September, and has been advanced interim debt of $4.7 million since July.
The loans are unsecured, with an annual interest rate of 11%, accrued monthly, with the interest due when the principal is repaid.
Ancuabe has a maiden reserve of 24.9 million tonnes at 6.2% total graphite content.
The definitive feasibility study forecast a 27-year mine life based on producing 60,000t of graphite concentrate each year.
Triton has binding offtake deals for more than half its production.
Shares in the junior were up 14% this morning to 4.1c, valuing the company at $38 million. 
Triton has traded between 3.6-6.7c over the past year. 
Prior to the JHT deal, almost half the stock was controlled by the top 20 shareholders. The directors and management will still own 35%.