Triton Minerals has signed a letter of intent with MCC International, the overseas platform of Metallurgical Corporation of China, for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract at Triton’s Ancuabe graphite project in Mozambique.
MCC, a diversified developer and one of the largest equipment manufacturers in China, is a state-owned enterprise that merged in 2015 with China Minmetals, currently invested in a joint venture (JV) with Rio Tinto.
The letter of intent allows the parties to accelerate the execution of a formal, fixed-price works contract in the third quarter of 2018.
Triton published a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Ancuabe in December 2017, with pre-production capital expenditure (capex) of $US99 million ($134 million) and pre-tax unleveraged net present value of $US298 million ($403.7 million).
Triton managing director Peter Canterbury said that the EPC contract was a critical step for development at the Ancuabe project, which received approval last month and estimates an annual graphite production of 60,000 tonnes a year (t/y).
“We are pleased to enter this partnership with MCC, who throughout the evaluation process, demonstrated a detailed understanding of the Ancuabe graphite project, in-depth knowledge of Mozambique and a commercial awareness of project financing requirements,” he said.
“The Triton development team are looking forward to finalising the contractual discussion in the coming weeks and working closely with MCC to deliver the Ancuabe project safely, on time and on budget.
“We continue to meet our development milestones and deliver on our strategy to become the next ASX producer of high-purity, large flake graphite in East Africa.”