The Tanzanian government has signed framework agreements worth US$667M with three Australian companies, for the development of rare earth and graphite projects.
The signing ceremony was held in April 2023 at Chamwino State House, in Tanzania, with agreements being signed with Evolution Energy Minerals, Ecograf and Peak Rare Earth. According to Tanzanian legislation (2017), the country’s government is entitled a 16% ownership in each of the jointly ventured companies that will operate the projects.
Evolution’s JV Kudu Graphite (Kudu) will be operating the Chilalo graphite project and Ecograf’s JV Duma TanzGraphite will be operating the Epanko graphite project. In March 2023, Evolution published a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) indicating a production capacity of 52ktpy graphite concentrate (95-97% C) and plans to produce expandable graphite (12ktpy) and micronised graphite (8ktpy). Where else, Ecograf Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) indicates construction plans for a 720ktpa flotation processing plant producing 60ktpa graphite concentrate.
On the rare earth side, Peak Rare Earth has been advancing the Ngualla project with a BFS published in 2017, outlining a capacity to produce 37.2ktpy of concentrate. The Ngualla project has been developed by Peak Rare Earths for in excess of 10 years, though developments have been slowed by the unfavourable market conditions in the mid-2010s and a lengthy delay in the approval of key permits for the operation of the mine between 2017 and 2021. The approval of a Special Mining Licence for the Ngualla project in July 2021, saw the Tanzanian government take a 16% stakeholding in the project, though has enabled further progression of the project.
In recent years, Tanzania’s political structure has changed and as a result attracted investments from other foreign companies within the mining and energy sector, including Marula Mining, Volt Resources and Magnis Energy Technology. Increasing investments to develop mine projects in Tanzania has the prospect to align with the President’s aim for mining to contribute 10% of the country’s GDP by 2025.
Source: Project Blue