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AIM-listed investment group focused on natural resource projects in Africa, Armadale Capital, revealed that the mine design for the Mahenge Liandu graphite project is now being finalised for inclusion in the definitive feasibility study (DFS).

Armadale’s wholly-owned Mahenge Liandu graphite project, located in a highly prospective region in Tanzania, and has a high-grade JORC compliant inferred, indicated and measured mineral resource estimate announced in October of 59.5Mt at 9.8% TGC.

This announcement followed a recent site visit undertaken by the project’s engineer, who was tasked with designing the graphite mine and optimising it to ensure high grade areas are targeted first to ensure stronger cashflow generation in the early years.

Accordingly, the engineer has reviewed the site layout to garner a primary understanding of the logistics, terrain and route to market. Additionally, meetings were undertaken with mining contractors, third party suppliers and logistics operators to ensure a seamless route to transport graphite concentrate to port.

Key discussions, the company said, have also been held with local communities and their leaders, who remain very positive on the project. The facilities available to house visiting contractors working on the project have been viewed.

Nick Johansen, director of Armadale, said that over the past six months, significant progress has been made defining a high-grade resource, completing memorandums of understanding, and progressing the commercialisation strategy.

“With our funding position now secure, the Board is delighted to continue progressing Armadale’s ongoing transition from explorer to emerging producer.”

He added that the site visit by the project engineer tasked with designing the mine is a milestone as it signifies the concept is moving towards a reality and is an important towards finalizing the project’s DFS.

“We are now looking beyond the completion of the DFS to focus on the commercialisation strategy in order to deliver a high-quality graphite product to our off-take partners. As part of this process, the Board has been increasingly focused on project infrastructure and ensuring all the elements necessary to commence mining operations in a timely manner are in place.”

Currently, Armadale is completing a DFS based on the results of a scoping study that was completed in March 2018. The study was based on a throughput of 400 000 tpa over a 32-year mine life and showed that the project has robust economics and warrants further development.

It also verified that the project could produce a coarse flake, high-purity graphite product underpinning a compelling business case to progress commercialisation plans, the company said.

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