WALKABOUT Resources, an Australian based firm, has signed an agreement with CRDB Bank for a loan amounting of 20million US dollars ( 46bn/-) for the construction of a graphite mine in Lindi region.
The Australian firm that operates in the country under Lindi Jumbo G raphite 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 Mr Allan Mulligan said the CRDB loan, which covers 62.5 per cent of mine costs, takes the project to the new stage of progress toward its implementation.
“CRBD Bank’s loan further makes Walkabout’s Lindi Jumbo a truly local Tanzanian company with a substantially de-risked world-class graphite project,” Mr Mulligan said.
The miner further expressed that it 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 estimated 24 years mining life, Lindi Jumbo has an estimated capital cost of 3 2 million US dollars and the CRDB loan met 62.5 per cent 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 press release also highlighted that all documents between the Lindi Jumbo and the government have been finalised and all permits approved.
According to Walkabout Senior G eologist, Rikard Taljaard, the mine lies on the land totalling seven square kilometres in Matambarale village, Ruangwa District in Lindi where preliminary earth works are on-going in line with compensating the current land owners.