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28/05/2024
Mining News

Northern Graphite explores financing options for Okanjande project in Namibia

Northern Graphite is considering various funding avenues, including royalty, stream, or debt structures, with equity contribution from a strategic partner for its Okanjande project.

The Okanjande project comprises the Okorusu fluorspar processing plant and the Okanjande graphite deposit. Situated approximately 20 km south of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa region, the graphite deposit is complemented by the Okorusu processing plant, located about 78 km from Okanjande and 60 km from Otjiwarongo town.

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Since the third quarter of 2023, the Okanjande project has been under care and maintenance to minimize costs. However, Northern Graphite has retained its engineering department and staff involved in relocating the Okorusu plant to Okanjande.

The company indicates that the timing of project restart depends on securing project financing. Once financing becomes available, a full developmental schedule could be executed within 12 to 14 months, with production expected to resume in 2025.

In August 2023, Northern Graphite released the results of a new pre-economic assessment evaluating the relocation of the processing plant for its Namibian operations. The assessment recommended relocating the Okorusu Fluorspar plant to Okanjande, citing economic advantages such as lower operating costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, thereby enhancing sustainability and expansion potential.

The assessment projected an average annual production of 31,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate for sale in the US and Europe, with production costs estimated at US$666 per tonne. It reported a post-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 36%, a post-tax net present value (NPV) of US$70 million, and a payback period of under four years, based on a 10-year mine life and an average graphite price of US$1,550 per tonne.

Hugues Jacquemin, CEO of Northern Graphite, highlighted 2023 as a transformative year for the company, marked by successful integration of assets acquired from Imerys and significant progress across key growth catalysts.

The Okanjande project has a history dating back to 1990 when Rössing Uranium Limited discovered the graphite deposit. Since then, various companies, including Solvay SA, Gecko Namibia, and Imerys Group, have been involved in exploration and development efforts. Northern Graphite acquired the project in 2022, aiming to capitalize on its potential.

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